Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Healing Power of Gratitude
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. We have much to be thankful for, but most of us take our freedom and abundance for granted. We grumble and complain about minor issues. We know thinking positively is healthier for us, but we still grumble. We must learn to give thanks in every circumstance. We must learn to practice gratitude.

David, the author of the Psalms in the Bible, did this. In the midst of intense difficulties he burst forth with gratitude for every blessing. At times he wonders where God is, yet he continues to practice gratitude.

Thomas Edison, the genius inventor, lost his laboratory in a blazing fire in December 1914. The next morning, walking in the smoldering rubble, he said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew.”

There is a legend about a day when the sun didn’t appear. It was dark at eight in the morning, still dark at nine, ten, noon. By four p.m. people had gone to their churches to pray for the sun to return. The next morning crowds gathered to watch the eastern sky. When the first rays of sunlight streaked the sky the people burst into cheers and applause. They felt so grateful for something they had always taken for granted.

Minor annoyances of daily life are often more difficult to look on with gratitude than are major trials. We rise to meet a tough challenge yet let petty annoyances drag us down. Gratitude is still the key. If we count our blessings every day we will be better able to recognize the smallness of the annoyances.

Learning a grateful attitude takes practice. This Thanksgiving Day let’s all practice gratitude and keep it up in the days and months ahead.

Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Blessings, Dottie Parish

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Healing Power of Imagination

Our imagination has healing power. Although we can’t know the future, we often imagine disaster ahead. A loved one is late returning from a trip so in our mind we picture an accident and we worry and fret. In our imagination we anticipate the worst possible outcome. Our mental images are like a dress rehearsal for how we then feel and act.

“Fantasies” often come unbidden. We have to learn to notice them and stop them. When we realize we’re fanaticizing we can replace the negative image with a positive one. Cancer survivors use this method to imagine the chemotherapy eating up cancer cells.

Many athletes today use mental imagery or mental pictures to improve their performance. A stunning experiment was done which showed the effects of mental practice. One group practiced throwing basketball free throws every day for 20 days and improved in scoring 24 percent. A control group did no practice at all for 20 days and did not improve. A third group spent 20 minutes a day imagining they were throwing the ball in the basket and their scoring improved 23 percent!

Monitor your mind for negative images and change these to positive ones. For example, if you picture someone who is sick getting worse. Stop this image and replace it with a picture of the person as healthy. Take time to pray and meditate every day so you can fill your mind with positive thoughts and images.
Blessings, Dottie

“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue or if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”   Philippians 4:8 NKJ

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Healing Power of Giving

Giving to others, serving others, even sacrificing for others – has healing power. In today’s world these ideas are rarely taught or encouraged. Most of us focus on our selves, trying to find ways to be happy. We think we’ll be happy when family, friends or co-workers give us love, attention or appreciation. We think we’ll be happy when circumstances change, when we get a better job or when we achieve some goal. But will we?

Giving, serving, even sacrificing for others helps heal our inner longing; makes us truly contented in spite of circumstances. When we give to others it changes us, we like ourselves better. It really is more blessed to give than to receive. Some one has suggested we commit “random acts of kindness” in our daily life. How different would the world be if everyone did this every day? Let’s commit to a small random act of kindness every day. Make it a challenge to find someone to help in some small way every day. See what a difference it makes – to others and to you.

Today is November 11th, Veteran’s Day. All veterans and servicemen have made sacrifices in order to secure our life and liberty. Some have given their lives for us. Remember to thank a veteran today and pray for all of our servicemen.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 32:35

Blessings, Dottie

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Healing Power of Silence

Our culture over stimulates us. Television, cell phones, radio, and computers keep our minds active and distracted almost constantly. We watch news, weather, sports, commercials, movies, sit-coms, games shows, talk shows and more. TV is like radon to our souls. The continuous noisy, blare of voices and images poisons our spirits, diseases our minds and dulls our senses. When this happens, silence seems unnatural to us. There are people who can’t go to sleep without the TV on.

We have forgotten how to enjoy silence. We have forgotten how to empty our minds and be still. This negatively affects our physical, mental and spiritual well being. Silence brings us in touch with our inner longings and needs. Silence brings us in touch with our deepest feelings. Often we would rather run away from these than face them.

Silence also brings us in touch with God. Many have become alienated from spiritual realities. Throughout history, in every culture, man has sensed the presence of the divine. We must be silent to sense His presence. There are spiritual realities that aren’t available on TV or on the computer. There are spiritual broadcasts that are timeless and eternal but we must tune into these through silence. These broadcasts can easily be jammed. They are heard only in the silence.

We need to be in touch with the events and tragedies of the world. We need to see the pictures of the earth quakes, tsunamis, forest fires and wars in order to keep up with all that is going on in the world. And we need to have time to relax and be entertained. But we do not need to stare endlessly at the images on TV or be hooked up to an electronic device every minute of the day.

To find serenity, spend ten minutes or more in silence every day. Commit to taking the time for this period of silence and stillness. The longer you do this the more meaningful and valuable this time will become to you. To quiet your mind you can read from Psalms in the Bible.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Blessings, Dottie