The Power of Confession

Last night, I had a heart-to-heart conversation with God and it’s been a long time since I’ve fully confessed ALL of my sins and transgressions before Him. You may be wondering what lead me to be so vulnerable in confessing. Prior to prayer, I was watching a sermon by Pastor Mark Ashton of Christ Community Church. It seemed a little strange to watch because I was just reviewing and going over my notes from Pastor John Weasel’s message at my local church. The Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes and will use whatever device and tool He can to minister to you.

I was laying in bed listening to Pastor Ashton’s message on the power of confession and how confessing meant agreeing with God. I thought to myself, “am I fully in agreement with God in every area of my life?” I wasn’t and I started confessing so many things to God; my fears, disappointments, hurts, and lack of intimacy with Him. The inner me was really my enemy and once and for all, I was ready to lay everything out in the open before God. I began telling Him about my inadequacies of being a man of God and temptations to lust. I even talked to God about my anger issues and being afraid to open up to the believers within the body of Christ.

Here’s what last night taught me… God understands and He wants to hear everything that is troubling you in your mind. More importantly, He wants to speak to you about those things and show you a way of escape. God desires freedom, peace, and a bright future for all of His children. Fear, shame, guilt, and a misunderstanding of your purpose on Earth was never and will be in God’s will or plan for your life. After confessing everything to God on my personal altar in bed, I felt whole and so clean inside. I hadn’t felt this way in so long. It was easy to pray and worship again. It was easy to write and blog again. It was easy to spread the love of Jesus again.

How did I get to this place last night? Why did it take me so long to open my mouth and verbally confess everything to God? All I can tell you is I had to reach a breaking point where inside of my soul I really had enough. Scriptures I had forgotten years ago were brought back to me and the desire to study and really understand their meanings rekindled in me. It goes beyond a feeling to a desire and longing to do right and be clean before God. I would be lying if I told you it was an easy process confessing everything, even in private, before the Lord. I can tell you it was the best decision I had ever made.

God is an all-knowing God. He’s omniscient and it’s one thing to know God knows your sins versus verbally confessing them. John 5:6-8 talks about a crippled man who attempted to go into the pool of Bethesda each year, but someone always came in front of him. This went on for 38 years. Yes, 38 years! Jesus comes across this man and asks him the question, “do you want to be made well?” Already seeing his condition and the bystanders dismissing him, it seemed odd for Jesus to ask him this question. So, why ask?
The only way for us to be well, just like this man, is we have to acknowledge we are in need of Him and allow Jesus to come in and lead us towards our healing. Today, arise, take up your bed, and walk in the freedom and healing God has for you! Confess any shortcoming or besetting sin you may have to your Heavenly Father. 1 John 1:9 encourages and proclaims that He is faithful is just enough to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. There’s power in full confession to God, the body of believers, and others!

Honey, Natural Allergy Relief

Oh, spring! How beautiful the blossoms that bloom in the warm sunshine are! How sweet is the smell of fresh green grass! Of course, with those most welcome sights comes a terrible price to pay! Every allergy sufferer knows what I’m talking about: pollen. Pollen is the unseen terror that causes most of us to stumble with itchy watery eyes to the nearest corner store and buy an ungodly amount of antihistamine so that we can hopefully get through our day without sneezing, coughing, and staring bleary-eyed into the distance.

Most of us who try to dodge taking medication as often as we can seek out natural remedies. Allergy sufferers are no different, but one of the natural remedies is so much sweeter: locally made honey. Honey made from local bees contains pollen from local bees contain pollen from trees and flowers nearby. If a person ingests a teaspoon of honey every morning, it is believed that they will become less sensitive to the pollen in the air. Overtime, they will be bothered little to none by the seasonal changes. It is in no way meant to replace allergy shots or prescribed medication. Always consult a physician before making any changes with those, but it is certainly a sweet and tasty alternative for those of us who run for the hills every spring, trying to escape the sneezy season.

Benefits of Adult Coloring Books

One of my all-time favorite memories as a child was getting a new box of crayons. Everything about it was wonderful: the vivid colors, the new smell, the way they felt on the coloring sheets. Now that I am an adult, I find that not much has changed. I love to sit and color. It takes me back to my carefree days, and I find that I’m not alone in this unorthodox method of de-stressing.

For many years, therapists have recognized art as a way to relieve patient’s emotional and physical distress. Oftentimes, life can be overwhelming and words can fail us when we try to convey our turbulent or strong emotions. Coloring can provide an outlet for all of these things we cannot seem to express, be they joyful or of sorrow.

In another study, adult coloring books have been observed to have a very similar effect to meditation. Once involved in completing their picture, the person coloring can block out internal and external negativity and focus on the moment, on the movement of pencil or crayon on paper. People diagnosed with anxiety and/or ADHD had been observed in multiple studies as being less fidgety, calmer, and much more able to pay attention to the task at hand.

While obviously not a cure-all for any condition, this bit of nostalgia can be used as a balm to the adult mind plagued with adult problems.

Is Your Dorm Room Haunted?

It might sound ridiculous to some to suggest that a dorm room can be haunted, but to others it makes perfect sense. If you think about it, more has happened in a single dorm room than happens in most apartments or houses. There are too many reports of hauntings in dorm rooms to ignore.

There are some things to consider before you decide if your dormitory is haunted or not. To start with, ask yourself these simple questions.

  • Is your dorm building new or has it been around for a while?
  • Is your campus historical or newer?
  • Is the location of your campus near or located on any historical sites?
  • Has any major event happened near or at the location of your dorm?

Let’s dissect each of those questions and why they are vital in determining if your dorm room is truly haunted or if it’s just old plumbing that is causing all of the noises you hear. If your dorm building is older then there is more of a chance for something to have happened where you are staying. Many believe that ghosts or spirits are commonly found in locations where something major has happened before. It might not seem like a life changing event to you, but if something happened in the past that an apparition considers vital then it is possible you may have a lingering guest.

If your campus is historical then there is also more of a chance that some major event has happened on campus. It makes sense that if your campus is haunted then the ghosts won’t just stay in one place. If you are experiencing a haunting on campus then it is likely that others are too.

If your campus is located near any historical sites that might have not so pleasant pasts then it is also likely that some bad energy has ended up on your campus. Lastly, if a major event happened near your dorm that could cause a haunting then you are much more likely to be experiencing a haunting.

If you or anyone else on campus has experienced the following, then it is likely you have a real haunting.

  • Hearing strange noises at odd times.
  • Hearing someone saying your name or speaking, even though nobody else is around.
  • Doors shutting, windows slamming shut, things falling over, even though nobody is around to have done it.
  • Floating objects.
  • Shadows or movement that is unordinary.
  • Strange reflections in mirrors.
  • Sudden change in temperature.
  • Unusual fog or glowing orbs in photos.
  • Flickering lights.
  • Abrupt loud noises that don’t seem to have an immediate source.

Reports of hauntings in dorm rooms or on campuses are common, so don’t feel alone when looking into this. Sometimes the strange things that happen can be explained away with simple logic, but in many cases there are no logical explanations other than to admit that an actual haunting might be occurring. This article is not to give advice on what to do if you have a haunting because every situation is different and might require different action, but rather this is to help you decide if you have an actual haunting or perhaps just live in an old building where old wiring can explain your sightings.

Please take time to let us know your haunted dorm room story in the comments section.

A Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath of Fresh AirThe air we breathe is arguably the most overlooked necessity in our daily lives. We don’t even think about it until it becomes polluted in some way. To battle that, we spend tons of money on spray products that clutter cabinets and not much else. To clean our air inside, we need to take a look outside.

Plants absorb some of the negative particles in the air along with the carbon dioxide they need. The carbon dioxide is converted to oxygen and released while the negative particles are broken down. The most natural and decorative way to clean the air inside our homes would be to bring that same cycle indoors.

Now, a houseplant can seem like a no-go if a person has allergies, pets, or even a dreaded “black thumb”. Never fear! While all of those things are certainly reasons for concern, there are plenty of common household plants that cost very little and can be adjusted to fit your household. A perfect example of one such plant would the aloe plant. With the added benefit of being able to soothe slight burns and skin irritations, aloe plants are very good at cleaning the air and are very hard to kill. They dont require much maintenance and are not known to be toxic to pets.

With a little online research and a quick trip to the local supermarket, you can fill that empty spot on the end table, save money money on product, and purify the air you breathe.

Nosey Neti

Nosey Neti Tis the season for sinus pressure, disgusting drainage, coughing, sneezing, and nights full of tossing and turning. Dry irritated sinus membranes and germs of all sorts floating about make it very difficult to keep a clear nostril. Once those pathways are clogged, it becomes a battle to clear them. For the most part, we take sinus medication and hope it works within a reasonable amount of time. We try to ignore the sife effects as best we can. The Neti pot offers an alternative.

Shaped to resemble a small one cup teapot made of either ceramic or glass, the Neti pot makes good use of nasal irrigation. Filled with saline, it is poured in one nostril with the head tilted forward. Saline should wash through the clogged cavities, breaking up the mucuous and flushing it out the opposite nostril. While a bit messy, it does provide instant relief.

While easy to use and with no foggy headed drowsiness to accompany it, it is very very important to clean and dry the Neti pot after each use and not to fill it with anything other than the saline solution when using it. All in all, a very natural and simple way to get through the cold and flu season.

The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil

moisturizerNearly everything we see has an advertisement for one wonder product or another. So many are directed at improving our appearance in one way, shape, or form, and every one promises a miracle. Walking down a beauty product aisle can make the mind reel, but have you ever looked at the ingredient lists for some of these products? Most are very long and require a chemistry degree to decipher. It can be quite alarming and off-putting.

Instead of using so many chemicals, why not try an all natural product that can be used in a myriad of ways: coconut oil. Coconut oil is well known as a natural moisturizer and skin care product. Its fat content and antioxidants can reduce skin irritation, redness, and can help to prevent wrinkles. Its great at repairing chapped skin due to winter’s icy touch and doubles as a very nourishing lip balm. When mixed with a little sugar, it can be used as a scrub to remove dead skin.

moisturizerEven heat styled hair can use a little coconut oil love and care. Heat styled hair can become very brittle and dry from the amount of stress its put under. Coconut oil’s fats soak into the hair follicle strengthening it and making it softer, silkier, and easier to manage. Its versatile enough to be used as a conditioner or a hot oil treatment.

As if all its moisturizing properties weren’t reason enough to take a gander at adding coconut oil to your beauty routine, it can also be used as a makeup remover. No more scrubbing at a sensitive eyelids with chemical laden pads. No more red and burning eyes. All in all, coconut oil is a must have for product conscious beauty gurus.