Monthly Archives: October 2016

Negativity = So Not Good!!

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“I can’t take it anymore! I forgive you!!”

October 24, 2016

Happy Monday Blog my Friends – Welcome!!

Well, I’ve come across another one of those “ya gotta see this” articles and I had no choice but to post it today for all of us, because it’s about my favorite subject: Forgiveness

*”Scientists have proven that negativity literally makes cancer grow inside the body. Everybody feels negative emotions once in a while, but these emotions have a stronger effect on your health than you may realize.

Every time you think about regrets, experience resentment or replay bad memories in your head, your body suffers just as much as your mind. That’s why harboring negative emotions can lead to devastating long-term disease. But there is one simple solution: Forgiveness.

Trouble is, our culture seems to perceive forgiveness as a sign of weakness, submission, or both. This makes it harder to actually do the work to forgive people who’ve done you harm.

According to The Greater Good Science Center, “psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.”  It’s important to stress that forgiveness is a process, not an event. That’s why there’s such a big difference between decisional forgiveness and emotional forgiveness.

Some researchers have described the distinction as such:Decisional forgiveness is a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor. Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. Emotional forgiveness involves psychophysiological changes, and it has more direct health and well-being consequences.”

As such, a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that a forgiving personality was related to better subjective well-being and psychological well being.

In other studies, forgiveness was linked to improved physical symptoms, fewer medications used, better sleep quality, less fatigue, and fewer somatic complaints.

Plus, forgiveness has heart-protective properties. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that anger and other negative emotions had cardiotoxic effects, while forgiveness has a more cardioprotective profile. The researchers concluded: “These findings suggest that interventions aimed at decreasing anger while increasing forgiveness may be clinically relevant.”

To examine the effects of negative emotions, researchers from Hope College’s Psychology Department, examined 35 female and 36 male participants as they revisited hurtful memories and grudges. They focused on blood pressure, hear rate, facial muscle tension, and seat gland activity.

Participants were then asked to imagine granting forgiveness toward real-life offenders. Not surprisingly, researchers found that “forgiving thoughts prompted greater perceived control and comparatively lower physiological stress responses.”

Simply put, while negative emotions increased stress response and sweat production, forgiveness lowered blood pressure and relaxed facial muscles.

They further explained that “…chronic unforgiving responses may erode health whereas forgiving responses may enhance it.”

Unforgiveness is classified in medical books as a disease, according to Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He insists that refusing to forgive people who’ve done you wrong makes people sick and keeps them that way. “It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment,” said Standiford.

When it comes to the most feared disease of the last century, forgiveness may play a role in cancer prevention too. Dr. Michael Barry, author of the book THE FORGIVENESS PROJECT estimates that 61 percent of caner patients have forgiveness issues.

“Harboring these negative emotions, this anger and hatred, creates a state of chronic anxiety,” he explains. “Chronic anxiety very predictably produces excess adrenaline and cortisol, which deplete the production of natural killer cells, which is your body’s foot soldier in the fight against cancer.”

Forgiveness can be as simple as letting go of hurtful memories and remembering that the person who hurt you is human too, but before you can do that, you have to forgive yourself for carrying around the weight of resentment for far too long. Let go of the past and you’ll feel healthier and lighter than ever before.”*

Negativity=So Not Good!!

Okay, so much for the Scientific/Dr. (S/D) version of the subject matter, albeit, I agree 100% with every word in the article; however, as many of you know, I wrote a book about forgiveness and I know a little bit about it, myself.

 I promise you, considering the S/D version, had I not written my  book and discovered my own incredible need to forgive, I’d probably be six-feet-under right now, instead of sitting here preaching not only the physical need to forgive, but the spiritual need to forgive as well.

In the Bible, forgiveness is a prominent theme. For heavens sake, Jesus had to die on the Cross for our sins to be forgiven – He gave His life so we, all of us, would be forgiven of all our sins. In essence, Jesus was born to die for our sins in order for us to receive the incredible blessing of spending our eternity in Heaven with Him, when we leave this Earth — Think about that one!

Yet, we Christians have concerns and questions about forgiveness, don’t we? Our first instinct is to back-up and wrap ourselves in self-protection when we’re wronged. I was a master at this, believe me; so much, that I basically pretended a lot of my early life away. I was filled with a huge grudge against my father and wasn’t even aware of this, on a conscious level…I believe that’s due to my grudge starting at a very young age, so young, that it became a part of me…my psychological being…at least that’s what I tell myself. But as my love and devotion for God grew, along with the help of my wonderful Mother and a really cool spiritual shrink, I found a peace in this Life that I had never known—It’s called forgiveness.

When we’ve been wronged, we don’t easily overflow with mercy and grace. Forgiveness actually goes against our human nature; therefore, we are to forgive by faith out of obedience, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done, so that our forgiveness is complete. God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please Him when we choose to forgive.

The Bible instructs us to forgive as the Lord forgave us:

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” —Colossians 3:13 

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them , so that Your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”—Mark 11:25

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others there sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15

This week, my Prayer for all of us is that we will embrace this word forgiveness— then ask yourself if there’s anyone you cannot honestly say you’ve forgiven…for whatever reason, but be honest; if there is, then get on your knees and FORGIVE THEM, ALAREADY!   It’s not like God expects us to then throw a party for the offender, however,  we may want to throw a party for ourselves – we’re no longer in hate-bondage, holding a grudge because we have finally forgiven the offender, and God can now forgive us for our act of forgiveness, as He has instructed us. Amen!!

GOD is Good! GOD is Great!! Always!!!

I love you all,

Margaret

*Note: A special Thank You to – Ilikehealthy.com/”Negativity-Forgiveness”

FYI: My book, “That Melvin Bray”, a spiritual thriller,  is available on Amazon, Abbott Press & all major book retailers.

Who’s In Control?

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October 17, 2016

Welcome to my Monday Blog, my Friends!!

Well —A pretty deep subject and much like the title I’ve chosen for this conversation with you today: Who’s In Control?

I’m referring to the 2016 presidential election in November. I’m led to come on out of the political closet and state…here goes…yes, just one more opinion on the race to the White House; however, I admit I’ve been on my knees quite a bit on this one! It’s the truth that I share with you all that I’m troubled…about a lot of issues we’re all facing with the present condition of our beloved country. Yesterday the Lord, no doubt, led me to an article in the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution). I follow this particular Faith & Value commentary  each week because the writer states my beliefs and philosophy way more eloquently than I, so I thought to myself after reading it, ‘Can I sleep on it til tomorrow, Lord?’ My friends, it’s tomorrow…

*AJC Commentary – “Know Who’s In Control of Election Process: Fear and pessimism seem to be permeating the presidential election this year. As a matter of fact, I was sitting at church this past Sunday, listening to some of the conversations, when an amusing thought crossed my mind. I told my husband later that afternoon: ‘If we could breed Chicken Little and Eeyore, we would come up with an offspring   that resembles the demeanor of many believers who fill our church pews every Sunday.’

“The sky is falling and everything is really, really bad.”That would be Chicken-Eeyore’s motto.

I believe it would do every American good if we put ourselves in the shoes of the many Haitian families which, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew,  are mourning the loss of their loved ones, while picking up the pieces of their destroyed cities once again.

Destruction. Corruption. Doom. They know it firsthand. And so do most of the third-world country citizens around the globe. As for us, we who live in these United States do not know what it truly means to watch the sky fall. At least not yet.

There is no question we have enjoyed a more prosperous economy in years past. We cannot deny that our society’s values are indeed deteriorating. Yes, there’s still inexcusable racial and social division in our midst today. But ask the millions of people who dream of immigrating to America, and they will say: “No, in spite of it all, America’s sky is not falling.”

Anyone who reads my column can easily draw the conclusion that I am, essentially, a conservative. I happen to be one of those voters who makes a personal choice to support candidates whose agenda somewhat lineup with my Christian values. I try to vote for men and women who will defend our Constitution, support our troops and fight to preserve life and family.  On that stand, I have watched my candidates succeed, but also disappoint. I have witnessed men whom I trust would make a positive impact in our Congress and Senate, change their ideologies to follow power and money. I have been pleased, nonetheless also highly disenchanted with my candidates.

That’s why I have never, nor will I ever, look for a savior in Washington. That would be ludicrous. And a waste of energy and time.

I agree with many of my friends who believe that our choices are less than ideal this year. I have actually heard several people saying they are considering not voting on November 8. Permeating their decision is  the fact that both candidates have character issues, which I do not try to dismiss, by any means. But on the other hand, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that  among other crucial decisions, the next president is likely to nominate as many as four new Supreme Court Justices, who can completely shift the shape of our laws and Constitution. That should be enough reason for every American to get up and vote.

Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming elections, I invite you to remember King Solomon’s  words regarding  any leader who has ever been in power:  “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he wishes.”

If we believe that is true, we must then have no reason to fear the outcome of the next election. Simply because, ultimately, God is and will always be in sovereign control. And even though our limited view cannot fully comprehend why he sometimes allows certain men or women to rise to power, our job is to pray, cast our vote  and trust. Fear and pessimism is for those who tend to forget who is really, ultimately in charge . And

for Chicken-Eeyore, of course.”

My friends, I believe GOD WILL MAKE A WAY WHEN THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY. He does it every single day. If we stay grounded in Him and believe in His Divine Holiness and His promises, we can never lose…anything—not even an election, regardless of the candidates. Amen!!

Who’s In Control? GOD

This week my prayer for us is that we’ll all seek God’s wisdom, not our own, in the upcoming election.  This is His world and may His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. As for us, may we have the courage and determination to live and carry on as Godly Christians, regardless of the outcome of the election.

Let’s all remember that the President may be the Boss in the White House, but God is the Boss of the White House!

GOD is Good! GOD is Great!! Always!!!

I love you,

Margaret

*Note:  A special “Thank You” to Patricia Holbrook for her Faith & Value Commentary/10/15/16 /The Atlanta Journal Constitution

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