Comparison – A Brutal Attack or An Opportunity For Gratitude?

About a year ago I joined Pinterest because I loved the idea of collecting and sharing positive affirmations, beautiful and joyful words and pictures. Who doesn’t need more of that? I found that this particular pin received quite a bit of response.

comparison-cameron-diaz

CAMERON DIAZ PHOTO: JULIAN MACKLER/BFA NYC; ILLUSTRATED BY SYDNEY HASS.

“When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you’re saying that what you have isn’t good enough. That’s such negative energy”. – Cameron Diaz [1]

Ms. Diaz’s words resonated with a lot of people who have lived and learned the truth of this statement and it made me think a little bit deeper on the subject of comparison.

FINDING YOUR ‘STAR’ QUALITIES!

We were created to shine! So why compare yourself to others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.

I am grateful for diversity, for unique people with distinct, different and wonderful gifts and talents. I am rejoicing in God’s creativity! 

Gratitude will take you in the right direction.

comparing-steals-our-joy

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

Comparison and Others

Our society makes it somewhat natural to gauge success on the success of others. That isn’t necessarily so bad when it’s used the right way. That’s why we have mentors and teachers. They can provide positive aspirations and valuable guidance. But for the most part, comparison can lead you in a dangerous direction and damage your spirit. Jesus’ warned his follower’s to be careful. [2]

There can be some good found in comparison if, it is used to build people up, it inspires us to do good, and helps us move toward developing our own fullest potential.

“Success bases our worth on a comparison with others. Excellence gauges our value by measuring us against our own potential.” [3]

Comparison and Self

Each individual is important. We can get all wrapped up in the notion of self importance or move our focus to a bigger picture. Everything we do for the world or for another person has infinite consequences. We all have our limitations and imperfections but we also have everything we need to shine in this world because God is the One who has the last word. When my faith comes into the picture, the paradigm shifts.

God is God – We Are Not 

I know God desires my best. But he desires my love even more. I am not the sum of my abilities but the sum of God’s love and God’s word. My life is better when I align it with God’s word and seek Him first.

Linda-Eichberg-Maria-Lauren-Alberici-Sisters

Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg and Maria Lauren – Sharing yoga at Crystal Cove

I am a daughter of the most high. I am GRATEFUL for the supremacy of Jesus Christ. I am CONFIDENT that he will line up my life to God’s wonderful plan for the world. I am JOYFUL that this will improve my life and the lives of those around me. I am BRANDED with Christ’s love and righteousness.

When I live out my faith and walk rightly with my Father, God, I shine by reflecting His light. He is the source of all light. My relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is like hidden treasure being newly discovered each day, its supernatural and beyond comparison. 

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else. – Galatians – 6:4

Our Lives Should Shine!

Anyone can be a ‘star’ in God’s Kingdom. God’s Son, Jesus, says to follow him and he will show us how. Trust in his provision and love.

I have to say, trust is not always easy. There have been times when I was afraid to give Jesus something that seemed precious to me. But when I have, I’ve always received something more precious, peace and freedom in him.

jesus-light-of-the-world-john-8-12

Don’t let this dark world destroy your beautiful glow. Whatever you do in Jesus’ name, own it, and sparkle beyond compare.  

May the kingdom of God’s love, rule and radiate in our hearts. Blessings, Linda Eichberg

 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14 

 

Refrences:

1) The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body - http://www.refinery29.com/2014/02/61667/cameron-diaz-interview#slide

2) John 21:20-22 (NIV)

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Link to full chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+21&version=NIV

3) Jon Johnson in “Christian Excellence: Alternative To Success” http://www.amazon.com/Christian-excellence-Alternative-Jon-Johnston/dp/0964501449

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog sharing my personal opinions. For medical and spiritual advice, seek guidance from a professional. Copyright, all rights reserved.

European Adventure Part 1 – Czech Republic

This summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime to vacation in Europe with family and friends. We visited many amazing sites, but overall, I was most enthralled by the beauty of the architecture. In the U. S., it is very rare to see the wide array of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Art Deco buildings that mark Europe’s ancient historical roots.

CZECH REPUBLIC

prague-vltava-bridges

View of the Vltava river, driving into Prague.

Prague-Gothic-Church-of-Our-Lady

Gothic, Church of Our Lady in Town Square

Prague

Our tour started in Prague. We had three and a half, wonderful days in that city. Discovering the secrets of Old Town filled up most of those days.

The first day, some of us spent time in the Jewish Quarter. The tour of the Jewish Museum and the Old Jewish Cemetery, from the 15th century was fascinating.

The Town Square was alive with street performers and food vendors. The Gothic, Church of Our Lady was a remarkable site. There was an abundance of interesting side streets to meander. Every building was a unique work of art.

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Saint-Nicholas-Prague

Baroque beauty, St. Nicholas (Old Town)

 

Prague Castle

Loved this excursion. The Prague Castle complex rests above the city with great views of Prague. The dominant building within the complex is Saint Vitus Cathedral.

The stunning Gothic exterior of St. Vitus is equaled by it’s spectacular interior.

saint-vitus-cathedral-by-linda-eichberg_

Inside Saint Vitus Cathedral

A touring choir from the U. S. was singing the day we visited. Our group was blessed to hear the harmonies of their worship music echoing throughout the cathedral, as we took in it’s majesty.

Terezin – Theresienstadt Concentration Camp

Our trip to Terezin concentration camp was a very sobering experience. After Germany invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia, on June 10, 1940, the Gestapo took control of Terezín and set up a prison in the “Small Fortress.” At first, the prisoners were predominantly Czech, anti-Fascist resistance fighters, partisans and guerrilla fighters who were captured during the war.

Eventually, it was established by the SS as a concentration camp. The world was told, Terezin was a city built to protect the Jews. A propaganda film was made to show this myth. It was staged to show the Jews gardening and enjoying sports and entertainment. This ruse worked for a very long time.

terezin-concentration-camp

Nearly two hundred thousand men, women and children passed through the gates of Terezin as a way station to the east and probable death. Of the vast majority of Czech Jews who were taken to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, 97,297 died among whom were 15,000 children.

Terezin could not compare to the horrors at Auschwitz-Birkenau or Treblinka but starvation and disease were rampant. Terezin-sleep-pallet-by-Linda-EichbergAt the height of World War II, this Ghetto/Concentration Camp held over 55,000 Jews. Thousands died of malnutrition and exposure. Their bodies were cremated at the small crematorium with its four gas ovens. People from other nationalities and religions were also imprisoned and died there. That is why the cemetery displays both the Jewish Star and the Christian Cross.

terezin_cemetery

Melník Chateau Melnik-Castle

Not far from Prague City, there is the small town of Melník with a lovely Renaissance castle. After 1989 it became the property of the noble Lobkowicz family and most of halls have been refurbished.

I admired ornate furniture and large collections of paintings but the picturesque view of the countryside from the chateau (or castle) was a highlight for me.

View-from-Melnik-Chateau-by-Linda-Eichberg_

View from Melnik Castle

After the tour of the residence, there was a tasting of the local wines in the cellar. I wasn’t crazy about their wines but there was one white variety that my husband, Steve, and I liked.

wine-tasting-melnik-chateau

On the way home, on the bus, our guide entertained us with stories of the latest Czech government scandals and played us orchestral music by famous Czech composers like Janacek, and Dvorak. She was a delight and so was the music. The Czech people are very friendly, and for the most part, fluent in English.

 

Prague Restaurants

Dinner on the first night of our Prague adventure was at a marvelous restaurant near the entrance of Old Town called the Imperial Café. The meals were moderately priced and five out of six dinners were great. The restaurant is a must see, for it’s elaborate Art Deco style interior.

prague-imperial-cafe_

The traveling six: Linda, Steve, Joey, Debbie, Alison & Peter at Imperial Cafe

Saint-Nicholas-Lesser-Town-Prague-by-Linda-Eichberg

St. Nicholas in Lesser Town

The second night we dined at Coda in the Aria Hotel. The food and the rooftop views were spectacular.  We had a few minutes before dinner so we decided to explore a few blocks in the Lesser Town (Mala Strada) area.

john-lennon-wall-prague

During our walk, we came across this John Lennon Wall. Most of the wall was graffiti but still pretty cool.

Our last dinner in Prague was also a winner. Kampa Park restaurant was first class in taste and ambiance. Ask for a river front table. We dinned on the Vltava river next to the Saint Charles bridge.

Saint-Charles-bridge from Kampa-Park-by-Linda-Eichberg

As the evening progressed, the skies quickly darkened and nature added a little excitement with a thunder storm! (To us who live in S. California, it was a rare treat!)  

It was God’s grand finale to our stay in Prague.

view-from-kampa-park-by-linda-eichberg

View from Kampa Park Restaurant

Part two of our European adventure picks up in Germany. Hope to post soon.

~ With gratitude, Linda Eichberg

“What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me”? – Psalm 116:12

 

© CopyrightAll rights reserved. May not be used without written permission.

Open Your Heart – Change Your Brain

Research in the psychology of gratitude has found that being thankful has multiple benefits. One study found, people who practiced gratitude felt 25% happier; they felt more optimistic and better about their lives. Gratefulness inspires pro-social reciprocity; it is a form of love. “Gratitude is effective in increasing well-being as it builds psychological, social, and spiritual resources.” [1] gratitude-benefits Gratitude In Action

Gratitude that translates into spiritual actions can actually change your brain. Leading Neuroscientists have studied changes that take place in people’s brains when they are having religious or spiritual experiences. They have concluded that active, positive spiritual beliefs and habits change the human brain for the better. [2] In other words, God is good for you! One of the recommended ways of letting God change your brain is to develop a positive spiritual practice that expresses God’s love to humanity.

“God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them…we love because God first loved us.”- 1 John 4:16, 19 

Lily-of-the-Valley-Children's-Village

Several years ago I made a mission trip with my husband and a small group of Christians to an orphanage of children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. [3] Spending time with the kids from Lily of the Valley Children’s Village, loving them and receiving their love profoundly changed me. Despite the unspeakable sorrow most of them had to endure in their short, young lives, they were filled with joy.

Linda-Eichberg-Lily-of-the-Valley-SA

During our visit, I had the opportunity to sing in a local talent show that was organized by the Heintz family, a family from our local church who were living and serving as missionaries at the orphanage. The youngest, Anika Heintz, the little blonde girl behind me in this photo, (left) ministered to the younger orphans with her two sisters, Siena and Nina.

It was a very eclectic group of talent presented that day. Tim Heintz played the keyboard and an array of local singing and dancing groups dazzled us.

Mophela-KwaZulu-Natal-talent-show

The Heintz family opened their hearts to the local people in a very big way by building the amphitheater and giving the people of Mophela the opportunity to perform and gather together in celebration. Far too often, funerals for friends or relatives who died from the ravages of AIDS were the occasions they got together.

Mophela-talent-show-Lily-of-the-Valley

After the talent show everyone was fed. Gigantic pots of stews were prepared. The food that was offered was also a very big attraction for most of the locals.

siena-and-nina-heintz-steven-eichberg-lily-of-valley

One of the other highlights of our trip was giving away Croc shoes that we brought with us. Siena and Nina helped my husband, Steven distribute the gifts, enough for every child to have a pair.

Over 100 pairs of shoes were given away. It was a rainy afternoon; our heads were wet and our feet were caked with mud, but inside, the smiles of gratitude on the children’s faces were like sunshine.

Lily-of-the-Valley-Children's-Village-gratitude

The health care workers who volunteered at the orphanage entertained the children with face painting. It made for a very festive day!

Nina-Siena-Anika-Heintz (2)

The Heintz sisters are now young ladies. They continued to take time from their busy schedules to do good works in the mission field here at home, and abroad. Two of them just completed a mission trip to Nicaragua with their parents, Tim and Sharon.

 

Abundant  Life

Each person’s idea of God and showing gratitude can be hugely different. I think our understanding about God is very important because it shapes our lives.

Chris-Kuz-mission-trip-Guatemala

My Nephew, Chris, shares his big heart!

Today, there is a great new generation of young people rising up to express God’s love. My nephew, Chris Kuz, just returned home from his second mission trip to Guatemala. He has a big heart for the children there. My daughter, Lindsay chose to go to Costa Rica to serve.

I am proud of my daughter and all my nieces and nephews who show gratitude from their heart, for what God has given them, in their own special way.

Life has beauty and purpose when it flows from gratitude for God’s majesty, mercy and love. 

Not only is God good for you, I believe God is perfect goodness, perfect love, holiness and truth and He wants us to be with Him forever.

How can anyone dare to hope of ever being with such a perfect, holy God? The bible tells us, “there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity — the man Christ Jesus”. [4] I know this at the core of my being.

The God of this magnificent universe loves and cares about this world, and me, so much that He came to earth as the Son of Man to die for us so we could spend a glorious eternity with Him. He took the guilt and shame of mankind’s sin and paid the price we could not pay.

There is nothing you can do to earn or deserve His amazing grace but you will want to do something to show your gratitude. That’s where the living starts and the journey gets rewarding. When we apply our gifts and talents in Christ’s name, joy overflows, grace empowers and faith proves itself in selfless service.

At the foot of the cross, lasting legacies of love are created, beyond our wildest dreams.

You-Loved-Me-First-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

 

 

From my heart to yours,  Linda Eichberg

 

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13

 

Refrences

1) http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/6Emmons-BlessingsBurdens.pdf

2) http://www.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/Gratitude-Related%20Stuff/highlights_fall_2003.pdf

3) Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lilyofthevalley.org.za/ & http://www.LilyValleyusa.org

4) 1 Timothy 2:5

 

© CopyrightAll rights reserved. May not be used without written permission.

Great Women Of Gratitude

gratitude-maya-angelou-photo-copyright-linda-eichberg (6)

The Practice of Gratitude

While watching Hillary Clinton’s interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN recently, I was impressed with the simple, frank and wise words she had to say to a George Washington University student. The student asked, “if you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

The former secretary of state had this to say to her, “… I have described myself in the past as intense, as, you know, passionate, as service-minded, because that’s how I have tried to live my life. And, you know, sometimes, just like every other human being, I’m disappointed in what I did or didn’t do, or whether it was the — meeting my expectations and all of that. And then I have other less happy words to describe myself.

But one point I want to make really quickly, and that is — and I say this to young women and young men, but I’m primarily asked by young women — is, if you’re going to go into the public arena, how do you think about yourself and how do you behave? And, there, I think it’s very important for you to take criticism seriously, but not personally. And don’t let yourself get pulled down by other people’s opinions, because I think what you think about yourself, what you say to others about yourself really does affect how you present yourself and eventually who you are. 

christiane-amanpour-hillary-clinton

So, I do try to stay positive about other people and myself. And when I find myself kind of getting into a “uh” mood, I think about my blessings. And I try to practice what is called the discipline of gratitude. So, I’m grateful. That’s probably the number one word I would use”. [1]

I don’t agree with all of Mrs. Clinton’s political views but we do have what she considers to be, “the number one word” in common, we both want to be known as grateful woman.

A Life of Gratitude

Along with the rest of the world, I am saddened by Maya Angelou’s death last month. Many gratefully remembered this great, poet, author, activist and luminary.

Michelle Obama was one of the speakers at Maya Angelou’s memorial. The First Lady said to those who gathered to pay tribute to Dr. Angelou, “She told us that our worth has nothing to do with what the world might say. Instead, she said, ‘each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory’. She reminded us that we must each find our own voice, decide our own value, and then announce it to the world with all the pride and joy that is our birthright as members of the human race.”

Maya-Angelou-passion-compassion-humor-style

joyful-spirit-grateful-heart-maya-angelou (2)

At the same memorial, Oprah Winfrey told how, Angelou, her close and constant friend, could shake her out of bouts of self-doubt. She taught her to look beyond trouble and spot the rainbow in the clouds. Winfrey said. “Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known,” [2]  Winfrey wiped tears as she recalled Angelou’s guidance throughout her career. “She taught me the poetry of courage and respect.” [3]

 

“This, I know for sure, sure, sure. Being grateful is by far the single most powerful thing you can do to change your life… If you want to fulfill your desire and your destiny, start by being grateful. ” – Oprah Winfrey

 

During an interview not too long ago, Oprah Winfrey presented a side of Maya Angelou that not too many people are familiar with, Maya Angelou, the singer-dancer as Miss Calypso.

Maya-Angelou-calypso-singer-dancer

Singer-dancer, Maya Angelou

When Oprah asked Dr. Angelou what would you tell that young Calypso singer today, Maya replied, “I would encourage her to forgive. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.”

Ms. Angelou continued, “I had to get to a place where I could forgive the man who had raped me when I was 7 years old.” I had to get there, and that was a matter of incredible mental gymnastics and then I had to “think of what I had done to other people and see how I’ve been forgiven…”.

You can see the interview here:

 

Ms. Angelou has it right. The love found in forgiveness is a gift.

I believe God filled humanity’s greatest need for forgiveness with His Son, Jesus. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the penalty for sin was paid. [4] We are justified by his grace as a gift. Through his blood, we have peace with God and are born into His life of love. [5] And for that, I am eternally thankful.

Our Grateful Life

This month my husband and I celebrated a milestone, our 30th wedding anniversary. Having a joyful marriage, after three decades, is a testimony to God’s goodness and my husband, Steven’s grace. It is  great accomplishment. a blessing for which we are very grateful.

My nephew Jeremy tied the knot this month and married his sweetheart Heleana. The vows they said to each other were very loving and touching. I wish them many blessings and gifts from above. Nothing is better than being with the one you love.

eichberg family jeremy's wedding (2)

Steven, Jeremy, Heleana, Linda and Lindsay Eichberg

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. – Psalm 85:10

 

Sending blessings and love to all, Linda

 

Refrences:

1) http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1406/17/se.01.html

2) https://news.yahoo.com/poet-maya-angelou-remembered-memorial-143406002.html

3) http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/remembering-maya-angelou/maya-angelou-memorial-service-bill-clinton-michelle-obama-honor-icon-n125216

4) http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-paid-penalty.html

5) http://www.gotquestions.org/justification.html

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.

 

THAT’S WHEN THE MUSIC TAKES ME

That's-When-The-Music-Takes-Me (1)

Music lifts the spirit and adds beauty to everyday life and we could all use more of that!

David Tame, a musicologist and author of the book, The Secret Power of Music explains that almost every function of the physical body can be affected by musical tones. The roots of the auditory nerves are more widely distributed and possess more extensive connections than those of any other nerves in the body. Investigation has shown that music affects digestion, internal secretions, circulation, nutrition, respiration, and even the neural networks of the brain.

“God is no distant deity out of touch with the earthly sphere of life, but one who is made known in the beauty of nature and expressed in music and the arts.” – Robert E. Webber, Who Gets To Narrate The World

 

I am grateful to God for the music in my life.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing my nephew, Jeremy Eichberg, sing with the LA Jewish Symphony. He was the tenor soloist and his voice soared. The classical selections were masterfully performed by the soloists, orchestra and choir. The harmonies resonated in my spirit.

jeremy-matthew-eichberg-dip-vertigo

Dip Vertigo (Jeremy Eichberg)

I have also experienced Jeremy in a completely different forum, as Dip Vertigo, djin at drum n bass events. That’s an energizing experience! Dip is entertaining, whether singing opera or rocking edm stages. Catch him at the House of Blues-Sunset Strip.  He’s hitting the main stage, Tuesday, May 27, 7:30. He’ll be spinning his best dnb bangers and multiple genres through the night in between four bands.

Erin-Eichberg-graduation (2)

Erin Eichberg

I am very proud of all my nieces and nephews, but this month was Erin’s turn to shine! She graduated CSUN with a Bachelors Degree in Deaf Studies. Erin was able to accomplished all this while juggling the demands of motherhood. She not only graduated but did it in grand style with Summa Cum Laude Honors. She is an amazing woman with a heart of gold.

Erin discovered her passion for deaf studies when she was singing and acting in the national touring company of the Tony Award winning musical Big River. In this critically acclaimed revival, all dialogue and lyrics in the production were both spoken or sung and signed, making the production equally accessible to hearing and deaf audiences. It was a very powerful and moving show.

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel

 

My sister Maria Lauren and I will be dishing up our own musical fare Upstairs at Vitello’s in Studio City, along with the swingin’ LA Winds Jazz Band. The Great American Songbook will be presented with a flair and a sound that is uniquely “The Alberici Sisters.”

alberici-sisters-maria-lauren-linda-eichberg-vitello'sThe musical evening will be seasoned with stories from our book, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” and our days performing with “The Golddiggers” on the Dean Martin Show, as well as performing with Bob Hope, Steve & Eydie, Jay Leno, Jerry Vale, Louis Prima, the Rat Pack and more!

marianna-riccio (2)

Marianna Riccio

We are thrilled to have special guests, vocal artist, Dave Berges joining us, along with my niece, singer-songwriter, Marianna Riccio.  It’s party time, Sunday, June 1st!

“What we play is life”! – Louis Armstrong

For more info and tickets:

http://www.vitellosjazz.com/event/showstoppers-the-alberici-sisters-and-the-la-winds-jazz-band/

 

Many Blessings, Linda

“The Lord’s blessing is our greatest wealth; all our works adds nothing to it.” – Proverbs 10:22

 

Refrences:
The Secret Power of Music: The Transformation of Self and Society through Musical Energy by David Tame

Who Gets to Narrate the World?: Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals by Robert E. Webber

Big River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_River_(musical)

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams by The Alberici Sisters, Maria Lauren and Linda EichbergBeyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams-Alberici-Sisters-bookhttp://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Wildest-Dreams-Alberici-Sisters/dp/1463564570

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.

 

Earth Day Gratitude

 

Spring is here and my attention naturally turns to the outdoors. I like to enjoy the wonder and beauty of our earth, fresh air and pure food.

Linda-Alberici-Eichberg-Zuma-Beach

Stopping for a yoga stretch on spectacular Zuma Beach.

I am very thankful to God for this world. In honor of our miraculous planet, and Earth Day, I would like to share some thoughts that are on my heart.

“I willingly join in spirit all who are grateful to the Lord for the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands, renewing the pressing invitation to respect the natural environment, a precious resource entrusted to our stewardship”. – Pope Benedict XVI

To show our gratitude, along these lines, my friends and I enjoy planting trees and raising vegetables. Some of us have recently installed solar panels on our property. The panels are producing well for us. In addition to saving the environment, my family is saving money on electric bills. I know, ‘a drop in the bucket’ compared to what needs to be done but it’s my ‘bucket’. “Scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human actions in any one place or region can have worldwide effects.” [1]

In Praise of Human Activities that Build Up and Sustain the Earth

Earth-GandhiVandana Shiva, is an insightful woman who had the vision over 25 years ago to save seeds. She had “an ethical urge to defend life’s evolution, life diversity and the freedom of life…”. She created seed banks when she realized big corporations were going to make seeds their intellectual property by “marrying seeds to chemicals”… and they have. [2] I do not agree with all her philosophies but in this, she did have some good foresight.

Henry Doubleday also saw the need to preserve heirloom seeds. He set up the Heritage Seed Library decades ago to preserve seeds of as many of the older cultivars as possible to prevent their catastrophic loss.

Preserving the purity of their product, growing crops free from contamination by genetically modified crops and the pesticides used on biotech versions is a concern and getting more difficult and more costly for U.S. farmers.

NON-GMO“Food & Water Watch is calling for USDA to start tracking and analyzing incidences of contamination and associated economic losses at all levels of the supply chain”. And the group also is also asking for USDA to “hold biotech seed companies financially accountable for losses associated with GMO contamination”. [3]

Genetically modified organisms have been banned in many countries around the world. [4] I look for the NON GMO and USDA Organic label when I shop.

marco-degli-esposti-campi-verdi-foods- (2)For the most part, my family and I live a plant-based lifestyle. My Nephew, Marco Degli Esposti, recently started a business cultivating fresh sprouts and wheat grass juice for natural food markets and home delivery. It’s a labor of love for him; he is enthusiastic about their proven health and healing benefits. A survivor of a near-death experience, Marco has an amazing and courageous comeback story. You can read about it on his Campi Verdi Foods website. It will inspire you!

A World Without Bees?

Since 2006, more than 10 million bee hives have been lost, losses far exceeding the historical rate. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating a good portion of our crops and their dwindling population will have adverse effects on our food supply. As a new report from the US Department of Agriculture details, “scientists are still struggling to pinpoint the cause of so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and time is running out. “ “Currently, the survivorship of honey bee colonies is too low for us to be confident in our ability to meet the pollination demands of U.S. agricultural crops,” the report states. It is a “threat to both beekeepers and to those agricultural crops that rely upon pollination as a production input”. [5]

Suspects causing bee death have included pesticides, fungicides, disease-bearing parasites, and poor nutrition. In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on a reason why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once. [6]

My respect for the important part honey bees play in circle of life on this planet makes me wonder if the collapse of their colonies will cause a ripple effect through all of nature.

Home is Where Your Heart is

I am blessed to live in an area with open space and many maintained hiking trails. Walking in nature, restores my spirit and provides me the opportunity to lift my heart to God in appreciation and prayer for His creation.

Westlake-reservoir-photo-Linda-Eichberg

Three Springs trail overlooking the Westlake reservoir

westlake-village-trails-the-gratitude-life.wordpress

My daughter, Lindsay and her friends don’t want to imagine a world devoid of the magnificent natural wonders I enjoy regularly. We are all responsible for sustaining the earth for the next generation and should be involved in doing that one way or another.

Blessings, Linda Eichberg

“The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good”. Genesis 1:12

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” Psalm 57:11

 

Refrences:

1) The Environment by Pope Benedict XVI – http://www.amazon.com/The-Environment-Pope-Benedict-XVI/dp/1612786286/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1334934661&sr=8-4

2) http://youtu.be/dsK3V04LAvw

3) http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/usa-gmo-contamination-report-idUSL1N0LX1OU20140303

4) http://www.realnatural.org/many-countries-ban-gmo-crops-require-ge-food-labels/

5) http://www.usda.gov/documents/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf?_ga=1.158011065.280595142.1398097528

6) http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0070182?_ga=1.145360823.280595142.1398097528#authcontrib

http://qz.com/107970/scientists-discover-whats-killing-the-bees-and-its-worse-than-you-thought/

Copyright, Linda Eichberg, all materials contained within this blog may not be used without expressed written permission.

Gratitude God Rewards

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey thanked God, his fellow nominees and cast members after receiving his Oscar for Best Actor for in his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He said, “First off I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late (British actor) Charlie Laughton, who said, ‘When you got God you got a friend and that friend is you.'” McConaughey then continued to show his gratitude for his wife, children, mother and late father.

I believe gratitude is an expression of God’s goodness and celebrating it will bring more of His goodness into your life. – L.E.

Many professionals agree. Deepak Chopra, MD, notes that the simple practice of gratitude is a transformational act that opens us to infinite abundance, boundless love and carries us to a place of deep peace. Dr. Chopra adds that when we invite the practice of gratitude into our daily lives, “we turn darkness into light and fear into love.”

“When we focus on the things we are grateful for, we are open and accepting of life as it is –  perfectly imperfect. Therefore, in gratitude, the ego steps out of the way, enabling us to connect more deeply with Spirit, the true self and the source of all those things that have manifested in our lives.” – Deepak Chopra

These are some of the reasons why I started writing this gratitude blog a little over a year ago. It’s one way I can worship God and express my gratitude for His generosity!

The Blessing of Family and Community

The highlight of this month was visiting, Lilly, one of my six sisters who lives in Florida with her husband and five children. It was great to get away. It had been a while since I’d seen them all so I was more appreciative of simple things like watching Lilly cook. She’s amazing, she keeps a beautiful home and still makes time to baked different types of whole grain muffins, from scratch, every morning! I cherished sharing meals together and seeing my younger niece and nephew in their after school activities. Onufrak-Eichberg-visit_ (2) While we were in Florida, my husband and I had opportunity to visit Sarasota’s beautiful white, powdery sand beaches and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It was mind bending to see the amount of priceless art that was collected by one family. I highly recommend visiting the museum complex if you’re in the area.

Grateful Surprises

I was pleasantly surprised when I returned home and several people told me I was on the front page of the local paper. The photo captured a beautiful and uplifting day in my home town, Westlake Village, singing patriotic songs on the lake: The National Anthem, God Bless America and America the Beautiful.

Linda-Eichberg-Westlake-Village-Yacht-Club

Photo Credit: Iris Smooth – Acorn Newspapers

What a blessing to sing outdoors gazing at the majesty of the Santa Monica mountains on a perfect spring day! The Marine Corps Color Guard added their support to the Yacht Club sailing season opening ceremony. Seoul 1988 OG, Medal ceremony - Sailing, 470 - Two Person Dinghy Women, Allison JOLLY (USA) 1st et Lynne JEWELL (USA) 1st.

Interestingly, two Westlake Yacht Club sailors won the Gold Medal for the U.S. A. at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Allyson Jolly and Lynn Jewel won the medal in the 470 class, competing against the best women sailors in the world. They were the first women to win a Gold Medal in sailing. Fantastic achievement ladies!

 

Michael-McDonald-photo-Linda-EichbergAnother wonderful surprise was getting a spontaneous invite from good friends to see Michael McDonald, of Doobie Brothers fame, in concert at the Canyon Club. I have great memories of my husband and I having our first date at a Doobie Brothers concert thirty five years ago. Yes, Michael sings as well now as he did then. It was a terrific show!

Choosing Joy

I appreciate all these things and I am abundantly grateful for my faith in God and the gift of His Son, Jesus. In him I have forgiveness and the power to be all God created me to be. With him, I am called a daughter of the Most High.

~ with a grateful heart, Linda

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” – Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

Happy-Day-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

 

 

 All content is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission.

Laugh For The Health Of It – Humor And Heart Health

A good sense of humor may help protect you against a heart attack, according to recent discoveries by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The study suggests that laughter may help prevent heart disease by improving blood vessel tone.

Laughter stimulates the circulation and helps your blood vessels function better by acting on the endothelium, the protective lining of the vessels, causing them to open and increase blood flow. Laughter may also help prevent cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries that leads to a heart attack because it reduces stress. [1] In other words, a good laugh is good for your heart.

Research also found that people with heart disease were less likely to recognize humor or use it to ease tense situations. For the most part they laughed less, even in positive situations and they showed more anger. There have not been any negative effects observed that correspond with laughter. [2]

  “Looking at life through the lens of humor is good for your health”.  – L. E.

Looking at life through the lens of humor is good for the health - Linda Eichberg

“We know that exercising, not smoking and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list.” – Dr. Micheal Miller, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine.

 

Invite Laughter Into Your Life

Make a date with laughter, daily. Read something funny or watch a funny video or television show. Researchers have found the even the anticipation of experiencing laughter created feel good hormones that boost the immune system.[3]

Dean-Martin-Three-Stooges-

Dean Martin and The Three Stooges in “4 for Texas”

When I was a kid, I looked forward to laughing with “The Three Stooges.” Today, my daughter watches a modern version of their TV show. God bless her, she likes me to watch it with her. “Impractical Jokers” is pretty outrageous. It’s sort of like the ‘naughty’ Four Stooges meet Candid Camera. I sometimes complain that watching their crazy pranks will, “rot my brain” but, as Lindsay is quick to point out, I am usually laughing the loudest! We both enjoy watching reruns of “King of Queens” on a Saturday morning. Great bonding time!

Actually, humor is good for the brain. A study by John Hopkins University found humor improves test score results. [4]

American Heart Health Month

This is American Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S but it doesn’t have to be.

Diet and Exercise

With the help of nutrition experts from The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association, here is a list of the top 25, “best of the best” heart-healthy foods. These 25 foods are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your heart and blood vessels. [5]

Top 25 Heart-Healthy Foods

The benefits of diet and exercise for the heart are well documented. Researchers from the University of South Carolina found that adult men, who had little physical activity throughout the day, had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease compared with men who were living a more active lifestyle. My friend, Christl, reduced her cholesterol by 100 points in one month through diet and exercise.

Facts also support the idea that, “yoga can help reduce such cardiovascular risks as insulin resistance, high blood pressure and blood vessel inflammation.” For the 2.7 million Americans diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, “yoga may be especially helpful.” [6] Since I teach yoga, this is very good to hear.

Laughing Yoga

Image

Yoga comes naturally to my nephew, Dylan

Did you ever hear of laughing yoga? Laughing yoga and laughter clubs are where people get together to laugh without using jokes. It’s coached laughing. They laugh for the health of it! [7] Babies laugh and do yoga before they can walk or speak. It comes to them naturally. They laugh without having to get the joke. We were created to laugh!

Be a Friend

Togetherness strengthens heart health. A University of New York at Oswego investigation found that blood pressure dropped when one spent time with a spouse or partner. Engaging with other people does seem to help the heart, so what could be more awesome for the heart than sharing unconditional love and taking a yoga class together?

Yoga Instructors - Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg  (Alberici Sisters)

Sisters, Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg demonstrate Yoga – Side Angle Pose

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
    jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

 

Recall Funny Moments

Dean Martin

Looking at this photo of my former boss, Dean Martin, I can’t help but smile. Dean spent the latter part of his TV career celebrating comedy in The Dean Martin Comedy Hour and the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. Dean was smart; he got paid to laugh. Being one of his “Golddiggers” during that time, I guess I did too. What a blessing!

Watching some of his old video clips still make me chuckle. Humor was a big part of Dean’s charm, on and off the set. My sister, Maria and I spent almost two decades working with him. Oh, the stories we can tell!

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, Dean Martin, Rat Pack book

If you are interested in Dean Martin, The Golddiggers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, The Rat Pack or the legends of 1970’s television and Las Vegas, you will find our book BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, interesting and entertaining. 

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS contains over 350 photos.

Entertainers and musicians across a wide spectrum of the industry have contributed to the stories in this book.

“It is an inside look at show business told in a very real way.”

 http://www.beyondourwildestdreams.com/ for more info.

To read reviews and purchase on Amazon 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1463564570/?tag=beyondourwild-20

Laughter is good medicine. Wishing you lot’s of laughter and a heart full of love,

Linda Alberici Eichberg

Guard your heart

“When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, ‘I’m seeking him!'” – Psalm: 27:8 (MSG)

 

Refrences:

1) University Of Maryland School Of Medicine Study Shows Laughter Helps Blood Vessels Function Better http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309111444.htm

2) Laughter Good For Heart | University of Maryland Medical Center

http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2000/laughter-is-good-for-your-heart-according-to-a-new-ummc-study

3) Laughing for the health of it http://www.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/stress-relief/laughing-for-the-health-of-it/

4) A randomized trial of humor effects on test anxiety and test performance -RONALD A. BERK and JOY NANDA http://www.ronberk.com/articles/2006_randomized.pdf

5) 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/25-top-heart-healthy-foods

6) Heart Healthy Habits Now http://abcnews.go.com/Health/heart-healthy-habits-now/story?id=22554990

7) Laughing to the Future: Hugh McClellland at TedXPenticton – http://youtu.be/28ZSsH3UFWM

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. All content is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. 

Enriching Your Life With Super Food

January is a time for cleansing and renewal for some people. It’s also a time for second chances and receiving fresh grace for the year ahead.

Some of my fitness clients are dieting to lose their extra holiday weight. When it comes to diet and nutrition, instead on focusing on what they have to give up, I encourage them to focus on what they can and should have.

Focus On The Positive

Even I need to be reminded of that. Every once in a while, I’ll start telling my daughter, Lindsay, what foods are not good for her. That’s when she’ll gently remind me, “Mom, the stress of worrying about what is not good for me is sometimes worse than actually eating what is not good for me.”

Good advice; focus on the good, what we can do to best nourish our body. Focusing on the good stuff will automatically push out the bad. Looking good and being healthy is an inside job too, body, mind and spirit in harmony.

MY FAVORITE SUPERFOODS

Superfoods earned their name because of their ability to promote good health, add to our longevity and quality of life and stave off disease.

Green Vegetables and Green Juice

Their are a wide variety a green vegetables in the superfood category. One of the most important benefits of eating raw, fresh greens is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the ‘blood of the plant’. It changes sunlight into the energy that makes plants grow. Greens give the same life-giving energy to us. Chlorophyll resembles the molecules of our red blood cells. All green plants contain chlorophyll; the darker the green, the more chlorophyll.

Wheat grass juice contains 70% chlorophyll. Known for it’s healing properties, it is enzyme-rich and has 17 of the amino acids.

Greens are ideal for aiding in weight loss because they are low in calories a high in nutrition. Fresh pressed green vegetable juices have a powerful detoxification effect on the body. [1]

Linda-Eichberg-fitness-and-nutrition

My special juice blend: Kale, Celery, Spinach, Cucumber, Parsley and Ginger

Chia Seeds

Rich in vitamins and minerals, this super seed also contains more calcium than milk and has equal amounts of omega-3’s as wild salmon. It has an appetite-suppressing quality, because it’s loaded with fiber, 10 grams in 2 tablespoons, helping you to feel full. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals.

Chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterolChia-copyright-Linda-Eichberg-The-Gratitude-Life

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients prevent hypertension and help you maintain a healthy weight, and they are important for energy metabolism. [2]

Tumeric

Tumeric has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent. This antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory spice gives curry its distinctive color. It is a medicinal herb used in ayurveda  and it contains curcumin. Curcumin and Tumeric are not one and the same. Curcumin is extracted from Tumeric and is much more potent for fighting disease. Recently, turmeric has gained the recognition of the scientific community for its potential for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar and relieving arthritis. [3]

Curcumin has been very promising in treating Alzheimer’s patients. Further studies have found curcumin to suppress inflammation and reduce plaque and oxidative damage in the brains of mice. [4]

tumeric-the-gratitude-life-linda-eichberg

The tumeric root resembles the ginger root but has a more golden color. Tumeric can be found in powder, pills or liquid form.The fresh root can be pressed into juices.

Tumeric is a staple of Indian cuisine. Try cooking with the powder; you can sprinkle it on top of soups, vegetables or protein. It’s great in deviled eggs.

More Superfoods

In addition to Green Vegetables, Chia Seeds and Tumeric, I also like these other foods for their super nutrition: Wild Salmon, Sardines, Cacao, Maca/Green Tea [5], Red Bell Pepper, Beets, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Seeds, Black BeansAvocadoRaw Ikaria Honey [6], Raw Nuts and Berries, especially Blueberries. You usually can’t go wrong eating fresh, organic, GMO free fruits and vegetables.

God said, “Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds and all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. – Genesis 1:29 (NCV)

LET’S MOVE

Wishing Michelle Obama a happy, healthy birthday. She celebrated her 50th last week. We share a mutual message to women to be healthy. About keeping herself fit, Michelle says, “I don’t obsess about what I eat, but I do make sure that I’m eating vegetables and fruit.” Obama added, “And as everyone knows, I do exercise.” She practices yoga and includes, weight bearing and cardio exercises in her fitness routine. When Mrs. Obama was asked whether she has peaked at 50, she said she’s always felt that her life is “ever-evolving” and she doesn’t have the right to “just sit on my talents or blessings.” [7]

Michelle-Obama-Let's-Move

One way the first lady puts her talents and blessings to work is by flexing her ‘muscles’ in her, “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity rates through the combination of exercise and healthier eating. [8]

ENRICHING YOUR SOUL

This month is Nation Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Compassion First’s 2014 Dollar for Dollar January Match Challenge will match your donation dollar for dollar, Jan. 1 – Feb. 1, 2014. Your donation will provide hope and solutions for victims of child sexual trafficking. Join me in this wonderful opportunity to multiply your giving.

When I was thinking about the Compassion First challenge, a song came to my mind. It was a worship song called “Awaken.” It was an amazing God-incidence that when I was looking up the lyrics for the song this week, I came across several articles about why Natalie Grant wrote the song.

Natalie-Grant-The-Gratitude-LifeI always liked the song because of its message but I never knew it was written after a life-changing trip to India where she was exposed to the plight of women and children oppressed by sex slavery. Finding out more about the millions of women and children around the world abused by sex trafficking, Natalie realized the desperate need for quality aftercare for survivors. With that passion to make a difference, Natalie founded The Home Foundation to support aftercare programs around the world. [9]

I hope God will awaken your heart to do whatever you can to grow awareness and seek solutions for human trafficking and child sexual slavery. – Blessings, Linda

Awaken-The-Gratitude-Life-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

To join the dollar 4 dollar campaign go to – http://www.compassionfirst.org/ . Click on the Donate button and choose your donation Event – 2014 Dollar 4 Dollar. Thank you!

Refrences:

1) http://hippocratesinst.org/nutrition/wheatgrass-is

2) http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

3) http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/turmeric-golden-spice-better-healt

4) http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-07-29/turmeric-and-alzheimers/ – http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/21/8370.full

5) Share Tea, Save Lives – http://www.compassiontea.com/

6) Ikaria honey from “The Island of Longevity” – http://www.ikariahoney.com/

7) http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/01/15/as-50th-birthday-approaches-michelle-obama-does-not-rule-out-botox-takes-up-yoga/

8) http://www.letsmove.gov/

9) http://abolitioninternational.org/

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission. This is a personal blog, expressing my personal opinion. Please seek professional medical help for any health conditions you may have.

Keeping the Holidays CHEER–FULL and STRESS–LESS

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”… or not. The holidays can be overwhelming or stressful for some people. Many people struggle with juggling all the extras that come along with the holidays. I also have to work at finding balance and staying focused on what’s most important. Here are some simple reminders that will help you have the most cheerful of holidays.

Dishing Up the Holiday CHEER

C – Come together! Community is important for the individual. Develop stronger relationships and start new ones. Get together with people who bring you joy and build you up in your purpose and faith. 

H – Help others! Express thankfulness for what you have by giving to others in your own unique way. Simple acts of kindness become bigger when you do them together with a group of like-minded people. Show gratitude to people who have been a blessing in your life; bless them back.

E – Enjoy! See through the eyes of a child and get in touch with your inner child. Enjoy the holidays by expressing your own brand of cheer! Be creative. Be positive. Have fun!

E – Examine! Do some soul searching. Don’t let ‘sin’ or ‘missing the mark’ get in the way of your peace and joy. Facing relatives or friends that you are holding a grudge against or you have wronged, can be a big cause of anxiety. If someone or something comes to mind that needs your attention or repentance, take care of it!

R – Reflect, Renew and Refresh! Reflect on God’s goodness. Renew family traditions. Refresh your mind and let go of worries. Refresh your body with exercise, healthy food and by getting enough rest. Don’t over do it with too many holiday preparations. Be realistic about your time, finances and energy.

What Does Holiday Cheer Look Like?

The sweetest, most wonderful act of love this holiday season came from the cheerful and generous heart of my grand niece, Riley. Here is the short version of the story, in the words of her mom, my niece Erin…

“One night before bed last August she said she wanted to grow her hair for kids who don’t have any. She woke up today and said she couldn’t wait any longer because the sooner she cuts it, the sooner another child will have it. So, this afternoon she had 10 inches cut to donate to Locks Of Love! She was very nervous, but also very excited. I could not be prouder of my baby girl who did something very grown up today. Such a mitzvah during this season of giving!”

Riley locks of love

Riley’s special Hanukkah gift – donating her beautiful long hair to “Locks of Love”

♥ I am so proud of Riley and her unique example of cheerful giving! ♥

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Jesus in Luke 18:17 & Mark 10:15)

Counting My Blessings

This season brought many precious moments with family and friends. There were several birthday celebrations, including my own BIG birthday! My mother even flew in from back East for the occasion.

linda's-birthday-family

linda-birthday_

“A Cheerful Heart Is A Continual Feast”!

Celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas is tradition in my family. So is going to see a Christmas show with friends. A few days ago we saw “Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2013.” The show was fantastic! There was a nice mix of jazz, blues, classical and gospel music. The show featured both Hanukkah and Christmas songs. Along with Dave Koz, the other stars of the show were: Oleta Adams, Jonathan Butler and Keiko Matsui.

Dave-Koz-and-friends-Christmas-2013

At a high point in the show Jonathan Butler had us sing a phrase from one of his songs to the people on our right and on or left. It was fun to break the ice with strangers and see their faces begin to light up. It was a little awkward at first but after awhile you could see the stress melting away.

I am filled with these words we sang together with the entertainers and the audience that night.

“Forget all you problems, forget all your worries, God will make a way. Forget all you problems, forget all your worries, it’s a brand new day”!

God did make a way for all of us through His Son, Jesus. For me, Christmas time is a time of joyful and grateful reflection of my Savior’s birth and all the blessings he brings. Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year when Jesus is the reason for the season!

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas filled with love and  a very healthy and happy New Year. ~ Linda

Brand-New-Day-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

Bible Verses for Relieving Stress

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – Jesus (in John 14:27)

“And he said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest'”? – Luke 12:22-26 ESV

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34

“But the worries of this life, the temptation of wealth, and many other evil desires keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives.” – Mark 4:19 NCV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” – Proverbs 12:25.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  -Psalm 34:4

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me’”? – Hebrews 13:6

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword”? – Romans 8:31-35 ESV

“You, dear children have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3: 22-23

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18 ESV

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” – Proverbs 12:25 ESV

“… Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” – Psalm 34:10

“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” – Titus 3:4-7

” Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory.” – Romans 5: 1-2

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105

“… God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:39

“By standing firm you will gain life.” – Luke 21:19

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

“Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.” – Matthew 6:33 NCV

“…put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” – Psalm 131:1

“May the God of hope fill you waith all joy and peace.” – Romans 15:13

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.