Sometimes a song can bring some sort of peace even with all the craziness life throws at you.
This is one of the ones that I just need to hear sometimes.
Whole Foods, one of the largest health-conscious grocery stores in America, maintains a list of “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food.” The store’s blacklist is 78 ingredients long and contains many well-known villains in the eyes of health-conscious eaters—aspartame, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few. Though Whole Foods has grown over the years—it currently boasts more than 300 locations nationwide—it’s still a small operation in comparison to Walmart, which runs more than 3,000 food-selling supercenters in the U.S., making it the largest grocery store in the country and indeed the world. Walmart does not ban any of the ingredients on Whole Foods’ restricted list. In fact, approximately 14 percent of food items sold at Walmart could not be stocked on the shelves of Whole Foods simply because they contain high fructose corn syrup. When all 78 ingredients banned by Whole Foods are taken into account, roughly 54 percent of food items sold at a Walmart would be prohibited at Whole Foods.
If you’re trying to avoid unnatural ingredients you may not be a soda drinker. But let’s look at the seemingly more natural category of water. More than 36 percent of drinks that Walmart labels as “water” also have ingredients that disqualify them from Whole Foods’ shelves. While standard Aquafina and Aquafina FlavorSplash Lemon Water have similar packaging and might even be sold on the same shelf, the latter contains four ingredients (sucralose, calcium disodium EDTA, acesulfame potassium, and potassium sorbate) that would prohibit its sale at Whole Foods.
Of course, it’s important to remember that, while Whole Foods has attached a stigma to the ingredients it’s declared “unacceptable,” all of these ingredients are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Whole Foods doesn’t offer much of an explanation on its website for why it has banned these ingredients. A representative from the company explained by email that the decision to prohibit an ingredient comes from “many factors including safety, necessity, manufacturing methods and compatibility with our overall core values.”
In addition to its restrictions on ingredients, Whole Foods also bans food items based on concerns about animal welfare, genetically modified organisms, and sustainability.
CLICK HERE to read the full article on Slate by Ben Blatt & to see a great 'slide show' of different foods that would be banned.
Unacceptable Ingredients for Food - List taken from Whole Foods Market
The following list contains ingredients that Whole Foods Market finds unacceptable in food products.
We reserve the right to change this list at any time. Please note that creating a product with no unacceptable ingredients does not guarantee that Whole Foods Market will sell it. This list is intended for illustrative purposes only. If you are interested in selling your product to Whole Foods Market, please contact a WFM buyer.
CLICK HERE to read the current issue of "the whole deal" - with recipes, coupons & more!
So much of what we see, what we hear & what we do is focused on material things
& what WE WANT:
...keeping up with the Joneses...
Some of the following may be disturbing to see, but
You can't spend your life turning a blind eye...
You can't fix what you don't see...
ALWAYS remember & do your best to teach your children that
WANTS are different from NEEDS!
"I WANT a new cell phone."
"I NEED to find ANY WAY to contact my mom in another state that is in the hospital...she isn't doing very well..."
"I WANT hibachi steak house for dinner."
"I NEED a piece of bread or a few crackers so my stomach stops growling."
"I WANT the new Jordan shoes that are coming out."
"I NEED a pair of shoes for my 2 year old - he is outgrowing his shoes...they have holes in the bottom & when it rains his socks get wet..."
"I WANT to re-do my bedroom."
I NEED a mattress for my kids to sleep on.
They can share one...I just want to get them out off of the floor."
"I WANT a new bathing suit for our pool party this weekend."
"I Need running water so my family can take a shower & flush the toilet."
"I WANT to move into a BIGGER house!"
"I NEED to move anywhere..."
So many of us are sheltered & many of us try to shelter our children.
We tend to feel more comfortable staying in our little bubble.
We tend to turn a blind eye to those that are different from us
those that are hurting
those that are hungry
those that are sick
those that are in need...
The sad reality is that people are hurting EVERYWHERE ...
...many times closer to you then you realize.
1:4 children are at risk for hunger - think about that...1 out of every 4 of your children's friends...
Most cities have 'tent cities' now - most of us are blessed to be able to turn heat on when we are cold & AC of fan when we are hot...
Look at how blessed you are with the many things in your closet...many people only have 1 or 2 outfits...some only have the clothes on their backs...
When we really open our eyes our world & the world around us changes...
hopefully our hearts will change.
Now you don't have to become crazy about all of this -
God WANTS us to enjoy our lives
and He WANTS the best for us.
But He always WANTS us to stay focused on Him!
He WANTS us to be joyful givers!
If we have things that we no longer want or need we need to GIVE those things to others!
AOE Ministries constantly distributes items that were considered
"one mans trash"
"another mans treasure".
If you would like to help AOE Ministries in ANY way please click the following link:
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor. - Proverbs 22:9 (NIV)
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. - Proverbs 28:27 (NIV)
Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses. - Proverbs 28:27 (Message)
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” - Luke 3:11 (NIV)
“If you have two coats, give one away,” he said.
“Do the same with your food.” - Luke 3:11 (Message)
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
- Acts 20:35 (NIV)
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them,
“Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
- James 2:15-1
What kind of legacy are you making...are you going to be leaving?
What kind of impact are you making...in your neighborhood, in your city, in the world?
What kind of example are you setting for your children & for future generations?
God Wants You to Share with the Needy.
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
- Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)
If we really understood how much God is pleased with us when we do volunteer work, offer a kind word, do a good deed, or donate to a worthy cause or charity, we'd do lots more of it.
Needy, hurting people are all around you.
Do something to make a difference today.
Lord, thank You for all the bountiful ways You have blessed me. Help me to be generous with others, as You have been with me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
*This last paragraph taken from Prayer Thoughts - to read full article CLICK HERE.
Please consider partnering with AOE Ministries.
Help us bless others!
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Please CLICK HERE if you or someone you know is in need of help.
God intends for our relationships to move out of the "Love Shack" & into a "Love Palace"!
Valentine's Day is right around the corner & hopefully this 'challenge' can help YOU grow with the way that you look at relationships, others & yourself!
(This 'challenge' is for people in relationships as well as single people.)
Do your best to complete each 'assignment' within 2 days then move on to the next one.
These may seem like pretty long posts, however we all spend countless hours doing meaningless things.
I know we can find or MAKE some time to complete the Love Shack series to make our lives & relationships better & stronger - going on the road towards what God has planned for us!
Be sure to have fun, as you learn & grow!
Don't opt out singles - do this so that you can prepare yourself for the person God has planned for you.
If you are in a relationship, what is your relationship built around:
Money or work?
Looks or physical attraction?
If you are single, what have your past relationships been built on?
Do you think that those might be reasons why it didn't work out?
CLICK HERE to view the 1st video - "Moving On Up" in the Love Shack series.
Attributes of true love
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.- I Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.
- Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
- Proverbs 31:23 (NIV)
A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
- Proverbs 31:10-31 (Message)
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
- Genesis 2:18-25
The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
- Proverbs 3:33
Here are a couple of things to discuss & reflect on over the next couple of days:
What is your relationship built on?
What is your foundation?
If single, what foundation was your last relationship built on?
Talking About Christian Walk,Relationships, Love and Romance with Sigoluhle Mandizha
BUILDING ON A SOLID FOUNDATION – RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGE
By Confidance Zana
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its FOUNDATION on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash - Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV).
...The foundation is the most important stage in raising a structure because in determines how strong and how high your building can go...
In this life we live they are three important aspects that define our life, your faith, your occupation and the person you marry. In all these aspects just like a building requires strong foundations for them to remain functional in your life and never collapse causing you pain and reproach...
A good relationship and marriage can bring so much happiness in life and the same time a broken relationship and failed marriage can cause so much trauma and pain. Whenever a relationship and marriage fails when you go back to check the foundations you will realize that it was founded on a base that is very weak. No matter how good and honest your intentions maybe but when something is not built on strong foundations it is bound to fall with a great crush.
In growing up I have noticed this tendency in both the Christian circles and also the circular world that the physical appearance of a person especially ladies plays a major role in determining how many guys comes after you. Ladies also would want to date the most handsome guy around. In as much as they is nothing evil about aspiring to date a beautiful lady or a handsome guy, a person who will make your heart melt but so many of us have fallen into the trap and ended up with wounds that are difficult to heal. This is a painful reality that happens in life, a beautiful lady is natural sort after by a lot of guys so this increased demand results in making someone easily move from one person to the other without any difficult thereby creating a lot of heartbreaks to those being left behind. I am not saying don’t date a handsome guy but what I am saying is before you are moved by the beauty check also the character and personality. The bible says ‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised”. - Proverbs 31:30 (NKJV)....
Strongly attached to the matter above is the issue of material things. Ladies nowadays want to date the richest and most successfully guy around. Whilst it is important to marry a guy with a vision someone who will be able to take good care of his family, let it not be the sole issue that moves your heart. I call it a weak foundation because in life seasons change, one season goes and the other one comes. If you loved a person because of their money what if one day they are broke and don’t have a cent. You will walk out of that marriage because what was holding you together is money and that money is no longer there. I have seen people that where dumped in life because they were perceived not to have anything but later on God remembered them and they turned out to be the most successfully people. Look beyond what someone has at that point.
Passion from the Latin verb patī meaning to suffer is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. This is one area that is so confusing when it comes to relationships. We feel so great when we are passionate about someone and when the passion fades away we are quick to say I am no longer feeling the love. While passion is important and makes the relationship interesting it can never be a foundation especially for marriage. Marriage is lifetime commitment. Passion fades with time and when it dies away what will you be left with. Seek for compatibility and comfort in a relationship, those will never fade away. There are some who can find passion, comfort and compatibility, we thank God about that but it’s rare to find everything in most relationships.
The word of God:
Just like what the word of God says “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its FOUNDATION on the rock.’’ It is so important to date and marry a person that has a life that is total surrendered to Christ. Someone who has submits to the authority of the word of God, someone who loves Jesus, someone who can be rebuked by the scripture. Storms of life are for sure to come but when you are both submitted to the word you will remain standing and your marriage will not crumble.
The fear of the Lord:
Seek to date a person who fears the Lord. Fearing God in the way that He is your Father & you don't want to do anything to disappoint your Father. They are so many people today who go to church and proclaim to be Christian but they are very few who fear the Lord. Someone who fears the Lord won’t lie to you, they won’t cheat on you, and they won’t break your heart. It may sound controversial but I believe lying to someone and making false promises and ultimately breaking someone’s heart is very ungodly and a child of God who fears the Lord should never do that.
Character and personality:
Character and personality refers to the qualities and traits that make up a person. These are very important because thus what makes up an individual. A person’s character is not easily changed. A good character consists of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness and justice. Seek to date and marry a person with a good character. Good character is a rock. Storms of life may come and seasons may change but a good character will remain. Good character is to be praised more than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to an extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece by thought, choice, courage and determination. Bad character traits are seen in people that are arrogant, bad tempered, bossy, conceited, big headed, cruel, dangerous, deceitful, dishonest, dominant, emotionally and also people that are lazy.
The spirituality of a person refers to the spirit that is in operation in a person. I guess this is a bit deep to some people but will try to make it simple and less frightening. A person according to the word of God is a spirit that lives in a body and has a soul...Beyond the body of a person check the spiritual aspect as well. Check the spirit in operation in the person that you are dating. You can do this by prayer and fasting. Check also their attitude to prayer and the word of God.
In conclusion, if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Psalms 11:3 (NKJV)
No matter how much you love the Lord but when your marriage is in shambles you can’t go anywhere. It will always remain a snare in your life. Build your relationships and marriage on a solid foundation so that when the storms of life, your marriage will remain intact. The storms are for sure to come in each and every marriage. The difference will be on the foundation on which you have built your marriage on. May God bless so that you can built on a sure foundation which is Christ himself.
Taken from Talking About Christian Walk, Relationships, Love and Romance FB page. To read the whole article, CLICK HERE
Prayers for those in relationships (taken from the Web Notes of Water's Edge Church):
God, we want the foundation of our relationship to be you. Help us to trust you, follow you, and obey you. Help us to put into practice the things we are learning about you. We’re expecting our relationship to grow throughout this series, In Jesus’ Name we pray – AMEN.
Thank you God for demonstrating what true love is all about. Help us to love each other the way you have loved us. We want to lay aside our own selfish wants and desires in order to truly love each other. In Jesus’ Name we pray – AMEN.
Men: God, thank you for this amazing woman you have placed in my life. I am grateful for her…her beauty, kindness, and love. Help me to meet her needs and love her the way you desire, In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN. Women: God, thank you for this incredible man you have placed in my life. I am grateful for him…for his leadership, strength, integrity, and love. Help me to meet his needs and love him the way you desire, In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
God, help us to honor you in our family…to make every decision with you as the foundation, to grow together as Christ Followers, and to have an impact for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name we pray – AMEN.
God, we thank you for your blessing on our lives, our relationship, and our home(s). We will listen for your voice and do what you say. We want our relationship to honor you in every way. In Jesus’ Name we pray – AMEN.
God, we anticipate you to work in our lives and speak to us tomorrow as we worship together. Thank you for our church, for our pastor, and for your Word that will help us grow in our relationship with you and each other. In Jesus’ Name we pray – AMEN.
Prayers for singles (taken from the Web Notes of Water's Edge Church):
God, I want the foundation of my life to be you. Help me to trust you, follow you, and obey you. Help me to put into practice the things I am learning about you. I’m expecting you to prepare me for a God-honoring relationship throughout this series, In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
Thank you God for demonstrating what true love is all about. Prepare me to love others this way. Help me to lay aside my own selfish wants and desires as I wait for you to lead me to a new relationship. In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
God, thank you for the person you are preparing for me to be in relationship with one day. I thank you in advance for their qualities of kindness, confidence, integrity, and love. Help me to continue to grow in you as I become the kind of person you desire for me to be. In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
God, help me to honor you in my life…to make every decision with you as the foundation, to grow as a Christ follower, and to have an impact for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
God, I thank you for your blessing on my life, my relationships, and my home. I will listen for your voice and do what you say. I want my life and my future relationships to honor you in every way. In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
God, I anticipate you to work in my life and to speak to me tomorrow as I worship. Thank you for my church, my pastor, and for your Word that will help me grow in my relationship with you and others. In Jesus’ Name I pray – AMEN.
One last article from Focus On the Family - CLICK HERE to read Foundations of a Life-long Marriage.
Our generation has definitely become pampered, immature & for the most part lazy. As a whole, we feel entitled - like everything should be handed to us. Many of us don't have a sense of reality, real work or real struggles.
I'm not trying to be a "Debbie Downer" but I do think many of us need a reality check. Below is an article I came across by Jarrid Wilson that made some pretty valid points. Click the link at the bottom to view the entire article.
20 Things People Over 20 Should Stop Doing - Jarrid Wilson — December 30, 2013
Here are 20 things people over 20 should stop doing. And believe me, I’ve been guilty of most of them.
1. Playing video games instead of looking for a job. - Sure, they’re fun. But those games can sure take up a lot of valuable time spent on more important areas of life.
2. Spending money you don’t have. - Credit cards may seem like an easy way to pay for things, but in the long run they could really hurt you if not properly used. Stick to cash, debit, or checks. This may seem old-school, but they will definitely help you manage your money.
4. Only going to ...
5. Citing “-Google” ...
6. Thinking you know it all. - Nobody want’s to spend time around a know-it-all. Walk in a posture of learning, and embrace every opportunity to gain new knowledge and wisdom.
7. Dating with no vision. - You’re confusing your heart and hurting the hearts of others.
8. Demanding respect before you’ve earned it. - Don’t get prideful. Learn to scrub the floors before you ask to manage the building.
9. Waiting until you’re done with school...
10. Getting into arguments over social-media. - No body wants to see your drama on their news feed. Keep it to yourself and the people involved. Handle each situation in a mature and honorable manner.
11. Blaming others for your own mistakes. - Drop your pride. Accept your failures. Learn from your mistakes. You will learn a lot from the process.
12. Relying on your mother and father to always bail you out of trouble. - Learn to take care of yourself instead of always relying on your mother and father. They aren’t always going to be around to help you.
13. Calling off work for no reason. - You aren’t doing anyone a favor by calling off. Learn to be responsible, and value that job someone else in the world wishes they had.
14. Ignoring wisdom...
15. Thinking minimum wage is worse than no job at all. - Don’t believe the lie that money is everything. Any job is a good start. Give your full attention to any job, no matter the pay.
16. Pretending like you didn’t know any better. - Purposeful ignorance will only get you so far. Own up to your mistakes and take each failure as an opportunity to learn.
17. Using the excuse, ...
18. Living in the moment, instead of planning for the future. - Be diligent and plan for the future. Give yourself some goals, dreams, and future aspirations. Give yourself something to wake up for in the morning.
19. Giving up before you start. Stop making excuses. - Excuses won’t get you anywhere. Better to try and fail then to regret never trying. At least you will learn something.
20. Being Passive - If you don’t stand for something, you’ll eventually fall for anything.
No one is perfect, and these points are all things I myself have once struggled with or been witness of.- Jarrid Wilson
CLICK HERE to read the whole article at Jarrid Wilson's website.
God’s plan for you is beautiful and simple. He wants you to have joy and to become more like Him.That doesn’t mean He expects you to be perfect. He knows you won’t be. But He does expect that while you’re here on earth you try to the best of your ability to be more like Him and that you learn and grow from your mistakes. Each time you make a poor choice with painful consequences, that decision leads to unhappiness—sometimes immediately, sometimes much later. Likewise, choosing good eventually leads to happiness and helps you become more like Heavenly Father.
Maybe it's not your cell phone...but what is it for you?
What is stealing your time from God?
He makes time for you...why aren't you making time for Him?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Megan Mauk & Tanika Baskerville Co-Directors of AOE Ministries.