Saturday, March 7, 2015

Is there no Balm in Gilead?


As I was doing a medical interpretation the other day, I had to interpret what the nurse was telling the patient about her wound/surgery and the Derma-Bond on her skin. I started thinking about Derma-Bond and what it does.....

Derma-Bond is a medical adhesive. It's used to close sutures and form a VERY STRONG bond to keep the wound closed. It remains on the skin and just kind washes off on it's own or disintegrates into the skin - I have no idea. I just know that you don't try to remove it. It just goes away. I had that type of "medical glue" after my surgery as well. I thought, "Geez, this big 'ole wound and I'm being kept together by a glue????" Wow.

That got me thinking about the glue and how strong it is. It's invisible yet solid. Strong. then I started thinking about a glue or "wound sealer" for our soul. The Balm of Gilead came to my mind.

The Balm of Gilead was originally a healing compound (a balm) made from the resinous gum of a bush which grew plentifully in the area of Gilead. This compound was exported widely. This balm is mentioned several times in the Bible. A balm is an ointment, a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. The Balm of Gilead was, therefore, a high-quality ointment with healing properties.

  1. This land called Gilead was famous for it's spices, ointments and herbal remedies. The merchants to whom Joseph was sold, "had come from Gilead with camels bearing spices, balm, and myrrh....on their way to carry them to Egypt". 
  2. Is there no Balm in Gilead?
    Is no physician there?
    Why then is there no recovery
    For the health of the daughter of my people?
    (Jer 8:21-22)
As I pondered all this, I came to the conclusion that there is a balm for my wounded soul.  There is a great physician and His derma-bond is better than anything else that I can try to use to heal my wounded soul. He not only wants to bring physical healing but also wants to restore my mourning into dancing and heal my wounded heart & emotions.

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.
Jesus is truly the "balm of Gilead" for all the hurting people in the world. His blood is the balm that heals the deepest wounds of our sin. When we have fallen hard, He lifts us up and restores our soul.

JESUS is the Derma-Bond for our soul.  He specializes in making the wounded WHOLE. 
He's invisible, yet SOLID and STRONG. 

Let's see what my next interpretation makes me ponder...... Have a blessed day! :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resurrection Cookie Time! :D

It's that time again! Time to not only celebrate the resurrection of my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, but time to commemorate and celebrate with food! My kitchen has always been a hubbub of activity ever since my kids were little. My "babies", who are now now teens & young adults, enjoyed participating in the process of making resurrection cookies. It was a great way for them to learn the true meaning of Easter.......what kid doesn't like hands-on activities?  Albeit, they are NOT healthy at all, but this is a recipe meant for once a year and the concept becomes really concrete for the kids as they "crush" the pecans and taste the sour vinegar. The best part is Easter morning when they break open the cookies and, much to their surprise, the cookies are hollow! This symbolizes the empty tomb - Jesus is no longer dead! HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!!! 
Below is the recipe. Gather all your ingredients, enjoy your little ones and have fun making memories!! :) 
Resurrection Cookie Ingredients:
  • 1 c whole pecans 
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 zipper bags
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tape
  • Bible
STEP 1:  Preheat oven to 300.
STEP 2:  Place pecans in a zipper bag (you might want to “double bag” to make sure you don’t have a big mess) and let kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. (Read John 19:1-3)
STEP 3:  Let the kids smell the vinegar and even taste it.  Add the vinegar it into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. (Read John 19:28-30)
STEP 4:  Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. (Read John 10:10-11)
STEP 5:  Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers. (Read Luke 23:27)
STEP 6:  Add sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know Him. (Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16)
STEP 7:  Using an electric mixer, beat egg white mixture on high speed until stiff peaks are formed (12-15 minutes). Explain that the color white represents the purity and cleaning of our sins because of what Jesus did for us. (Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3)
STEP 8:  Fold in broken nut or mini-chocolate chips and drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. (Read Matthew 27:57-60)
STEP 9:  Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off.  (The cookies will bake in the pre-heated oven overnight if you DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR). Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. (Read Matthew 27:65-66)
STEP 10:  Go to bed and explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers felt despair when the tomb was sealed too. (Read John 16:20-22)
STEP 11:  On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Celebrate that Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! (Read Matthew 28:1-9)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How To Make A Natural Cough Syrup


Ok, in the Anderson household it wouldn't be winter season without our trusty homemade onion, honey cough syrup! I have used this recipe several times, especially for my daughter who sings. She has gotten allergies in the past and, not only will she just feel yucky, but on occasion it has turned into a nasty cough. Trusty onion syrup to the rescue! 

I learned this recipe when I was studying with Dr.Christopher's School of Natural Healing. Thankfully it has been a God-send. You don't want to use cough suppressants on a cough. There are four channels of elimination (respiratory, digestive, urinary, skin) in the body and the lungs are one of those channels. The body is trying to rid itself of whatever nasty stuff is in there, therefore, coughing is a way for the sputum to come out. Cough suppressants do what the name implies - they suppress.  Don't prevent the body from doing what it naturally needs to do. You want to help speed the process of recovery and honey and onions are an excellent way to do this. 

In my last blog I talked about the healing properties of honey. Onions are a natural expectorant and they not only stimulate the immune system, but they also help combat heart disease, inhibit strokes, lower blood pressure & cholesterol! Onions have a natural flavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin has a natural anti-inflammatory action, that's why onions are so good for coughs.  How's that for a natural pharmacy? :)

Here's a video of Rosemary Gladstar making the onion/honey syrup. Rosemary is a pioneer in the herbal movement and has been working with herbal preparations for a long time. She explains the procedure very well. The video is about 5 minutes in length. 

I'll give you a few minutes to watch it.....hmm...... :)

Ok, now that you know how to make your own natural cough syrup, go buy your ingredients and make it! You'll feel great knowing that you're giving your family something completely natural without added dyes or preservatives - and it actually works. 

Please share your thoughts  comments, etc. I would love to hear how this works out for you and what your family thinks about it. 

Blessings! =D

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Natural Cold & Flu Remedies

It's been a while since I wrote here - feels great to just write again! :)

Well, it's that time of season again - cold & flu season. We recently moved out to the country - Hungerford, TX - to be exact. It was purely a GOD thing and I'm so thankful for the Hall family who opened their home to us. It's a blessing!
We're living in cotton country - when we moved out here it was the middle of cotton pickin' season and boy did allergies get ruffled! Now that the cotton has all been picked, winter season is fast approaching and with that comes other ailments.

Here's a great tea remedy using Ginger, Raw Honey and Lemon for when you feel that nasty bug of a cold coming on or if you already have a cold.  It's very comforting and soothing.
Cut up ginger slices, place in small pot, simmer for about 20 min.
Pour in tea cup
Add tablespoon honey and squeeze in about half a lemon
Stir and let steep (place a plate over your cup and let it sit there for about 5 min or so)
Drink and enjoy :)

GINGER is great for congestion, sore throats, pain relief and it also aids digestion, nausea and bloating.
RAW HONEY has so many benefits! It strengthens immune system and is a powerful antioxidant among many things.
LEMONS, apart from being natural liver cleansers, have Vitamin C & bioflavonoids which promote immunity and fight infection.

So, with all that said, if you have cold, instead of running to pharmacy section of the grocery store, visit the fruit & veggie area and you'll feel better knowing that you made a healthier choice in battling that nasty cold bug.

Stay tuned for more natural remedies for winter!
Be blessed!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper


This is definitely one of the wonder herbs that the good Lord created! It is described as a "warming" herb as it speeds up the metabolism and it has amazing effects on the circulatory system as it feeds the vital elements into the cell structure of capillaries, veins, arteries and it also helps adjust blood pressure to normal levels. It is definitely an herb you should have in your "herbal medicine cabinet" or kitchen cabinet (that's where I have it). It helps clean the arteries of the bad LDL cholesterol - considering that heart disease is the number one killer in America, that is significant. 

It's also good for the stomach and the intestinal tract. Notwithstanding its hot taste, paradoxically it is actually superb for rebuilding the tissue in the stomach, facilitating healing with stomach and intestinal ulcers.

Cayenne is useful in alleviating allergies, muscle cramp, improving digestion, gives more pep and energy, and helps wound healing with minimal scar tissue.

That's just the tip of the iceberg really. God knew exactly what He was doing when he created herbs for our benefit and I encourage you to check out this powerful, amazing herb. :)

Here is an incredible story from a Master Herbalist, Barbara Parshley MH, and her use of cayenne pepper: 

My favorite herb changes quite frequently. Today it happens to be cayenne. In the Family Herbalist course, a course I highly recommend to all, we learned how it would stop a bloody nose almost immediately. Given my grandchildren are around frequently, I had the opportunity to try this remedy. My granddaughter had a bloody nose for about 10 minutes before she came to share that information with me. I was new to the Family Herbalist course at the time, so I thought I would try putting a little cayenne into water.  She drank the water and the nose that had been profusely bleeding, stopped before the glass of cayenne water was finished.
Today, about two years after this first experiment with cayenne, I was using a rotary cutter to cut the many yards of material I use for quilting. I have done this for years, but today, for the first time, the rotary cutter came close to taking off much of my left index finger. Oh, did it bleed! I immediately ran it under water allowing it to bleed freely to clean the cut. Then it occurred to me - "I have cayenne in my Herbal First Aid Kit!" I wrapped the finger in paper towels in order to go get the kit. The towels were soaked in blood before I made it from the kitchen to the bathroom, one door away. This concerned my granddaughter and she suggested going to a hospital. I thought, "No, I need to get to the cayenne."
And so I did. I opened up the container of powdered cayenne, wondering if it was going to sting horrendously. (I had previously used too much in a nasal wash, and though it took care of the sinus infection rather quickly, I remembered to dilute it more the following time I used it.)  I sprinkled the cayenne onto the finger and it didn't sting! Sprinkling cayenne on to this open wound, felt just fine! Of course the bleeding stopped quite quickly. I was thrilled with my new experiment. Then I decided that as long as I had the opportunity, I would proceed with my second experiment. I retrieved some of my powdered BF&C (with the comfrey), added cayenne to it for good measure, and moistened it with X-ceptic. Since the gash was large enough, I put the poultice on only half of the gash on the finger and bandaged the whole finger.
It was amazing! Two days later, the section of the finger where I put the poultice has healed, there isn't even any bruising! The other section is healing, but is still a separated wound. The BF&C certainly added to the healing of the gash and is now a favorite herbal combination. However, the amazing properties of cayenne that stopped this rather excessive bleeding so quickly and without stinging, made cayenne my favorite herb for the day. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Seasons of Life & Waiting.....

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens....

Have you ever had to wait for something and felt like you were going to pull your hair out if you had to wait much longer? I'm there now :/ What I thought was going to be a little while of waiting has turned into years! My husband has been "between jobs" on and off for about three years now. Even though it has been a difficult trial to endure, my character is daily being refined and I've learning a couple of things:

FAITH: Without faith, it is impossible to please God......In the waiting, I've had to completely let go and trust God knowing that my future is in His hands - not mine! I'm totally a control freak and this situation is completely out of my hands and drives me insane! It's a time of total surrender and even when circumstances look very bleak, I must wait for Him even when His timing doesn't match my expectations.

PERSEVERANCE: Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength......Knowing that the Lord is in control of the length and intensity of this trial, I meekly endure and run the race set before me. Is it easy? A resounding no! There have been many time that I've wanted to throw in the towel and just when I thought I couldn't go any further, the Lord sends me a beautiful glimpse of His glory and helps to press on. Charles Stanley says, "The only way to receive the full benefits God has for us is to trust Him through the delay and wait patiently for Him to act on our behalf"

Have you heard the story of how gold has to be "tried" or refined by fire in order to purify it and make it valuable? I do believe that this time of waiting, even though painful and difficult, is only for my benefit and for the glory of God. There is a time and season for everything under the sun...... If you allow the Lord to transform your character during your waiting season, your character will not only be enriched, but you will also be equipped to serve Him more effectively - no matter the circumstance or trying situation in your life.

What is the Lord trying to teach you in your season of waiting?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Balance in Wellness

Most of us have grown up with the idea of having good health and health is usually defined as the absence of disease or injury. It can also be classified as the general condition of the body and mind.
A newer concept is that of "Wellness" which refers to optimal health and vitality - not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. This is a possibility if one is willing to take responsibility or their own health instead of placing that responsibility on others.

In my quest for overall wellness, I have discovered several areas that we need to focus on to create balance in our life:
  • Spiritual Wellness/Emotional Wellness: these two, in my opinion, overlap. As a believer, the Word of God brings great comfort and gives you principles to govern yourself therefore bringing joy and purpose in life. In turn, mental wellness is achieved through these principles as you meditate on them. This leads to the ability to love, get rid of negative emotions and forgive which are all very healing....."As a man thinks in his heart so is he" Proverbs 23:7
  • Mental Wellness: gives you opportunity to challenge your mind through continuing education through life or mastering new skills. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline. The saying "use it or lose it" is very true!
  • Physical Wellness: includes good nutritional practices, exercise and using natural means to heal the body such as herbs when the body is sick. Even if not sick, the use of herbs for optimum physical wellness is important such as Gotu Kola, Astragalus or Ashwagandha. (look below for uses of these herbs)
  • Interpersonal Wellness: God created us for community and acquiring and upholding healthy relationships is a huge factor in our physical and emotional health. Think of when you've been upset with someone - did you even feel like eating?
  • Environmental Wellness: allows one to have a healthy environment free of toxins. One way to achieve this at home is by using non-toxic cleaners such as Shaklee's line of green cleaning products. They are very economical and work great! I love "Scour off" - works great in the bathroom and the kitchen! Shaklee's BasicH has a million uses and is a staple in our home.
Of course, I'm sure there are more areas to achieve wellness in our life but those are the ones I wanted to focus on. There are times, as I mentioned above, that you need to add herbs to help achieve your wellness goals.

Here are some herbs for everyday use -
Gotu Kola: is considered a rejuvenating herb and has been used to increase vitality, prolong life and enhance learning and memory
Astragalus: is a general immune system tonic and promotes endurance and stamina
Ashwagandha: considered an adaptogenic herb that promotes vitality and vigor

If you're having trouble sleeping, Valerian extract is a relaxing sedative and reduces stress, anxiety, nervousness and irritability.
St. John's Wort is also good as a mild sedative and antidepressant.
Believe it or not, Catnip is not just for cats. It's also mild sedative and is used as a calming formula especially for children.

Basically, wellness is more than just popping a pill and hoping for the best. We are a triune being and with so many others factors affecting our health, achieving wellness is an everyday task but with God's help, we can overcome!

Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you! =D

"Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and our shield...." Psalm 33:20