Great Women Of Gratitude

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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. 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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!”

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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.

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“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.

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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

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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.

A Grateful Heart Produces A Bountiful Harvest

 

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am extremely thankful to God for family and friends. Sharing food together is one way we share the joys of togetherness. Each Thanksgiving, I like to create new, healthy versions of my favorite recipes. I am bringing one of these delicious vegetable dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Roasted Rosemary Vegetables
Ingredients
fresh vegetables like zucchini and carrots
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh or dried Rosemary
fresh pressed or dried powered garlic (optional)
fine sea salt
ground black pepper

Cut the zucchinis and carrots in half and then into wedges lengthwise about 3½ – 4″ in length. Toss well in olive oil, rosemary & garlic or whatever herbs you like. Arrange your vegetables on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Bake at 425 for 20 – 25 min. Rotate the roasting pan from bottom to the top shelf of the oven about half way through. Don’t over season. Flavors become more concentrated after baking. After baking, add salt & pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish alternating the zucchini & carrots side by side in the dish. Enjoy!

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Roasted zucchini and carrots

This recipe also works great with seasonal fall favorites like: sweet potatoes, parsnips or Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
If you’re using Brussels sprouts for this recipe, cut the sprouts in half lengthwise and follow the same directions above for “Roasted Rosemary Vegetables”. Brussels sprouts are smaller so they will cook faster. Take a few minutes off the cooking time depending on the size of your sprouts. Cook until golden brown. The leaves that are loose will be brown and crispy.

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Roasted Brussels sprouts

Add Ons – Try one of these three tasty recipe twists!

1) The last 5 minutes of roasting, add cranberries, walnut or pecan pieces to the Brussels sprouts.

2) Let the Brussels sprouts cool and add shredded Parmesan cheese, goat or feta cheese.

3) Served warm or chilled, roasted Brussels sprouts will make a fantastic topping for your favorite salad!

A Story of Thanksgiving 

Very recently my husband Steven and I were guests at a fund-raising dinner given by Lily of the Valley Endeavor to raise money and awareness for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. While we were there, we met at nice couple who told us that we were responsible for getting them and their neighbors involved in supporting this non-profit. I was very curious to hear how, since I didn’t know them.

Paying It Forward

It turned out that years ago Steven did some legal work, Pro bono, for their neighbor, a single mom who needed legal services. She was very grateful for what my husband did for her. Looking for a way to repay him in some way, she expressed her gratitude by getting a group of her neighbors to attend one of the fund raisers we were working on for Lily of the Valley Endeavor. The couple we met, were two of those neighbors. My husband Steven & I served for many years putting on events and raising money for this charity. And now these wonderful people continue to passionately support LoVE (Lily of the Valley Endeavor).

In doing good, we often do not see the results of our labor right away but in faith we keep forging ahead hoping that God will multiply our efforts beyond anything we can do.

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Singing for Lily of the Valley Endeavor, LoVEFest fundraiser

Living Legacies

My husband and I put a good portion of time and heart into growing this charity and helping the children it served. During those years much was accomplished but now that we have stepped back; it was heart warming to see the legacy continue through the couple we met and their friends. I was inspired and grateful to hear their story and to know how Steven’s kindness, in taking care of a struggling single mom’s legal problem, grew into something lasting and good for the world.

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Steven and Linda Eichberg at Lily of the Valley Children’s Village, South Africa

Grateful for the blessing of serving these children through Christ. Giving thanks for good friends, good food, family and God, who can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Steven, Linda and Lindsay

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9

“But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.” ~ Mark 4:20 (MSG)

For more information on Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lov.org.za

and Lily of the Valley AIDS Foundation – http://www.lilyvalleyusa.org

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

Prayer – A Touch of Heaven

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“I have always asked people to pray for me… I feel I have many weaknesses and problems, I am a sinner, too.” – Pope Francis [1]

Pope Francis’ statement this week gives hope to all who see their weaknesses and still believe greater things are to come. At certain times in my life, some of the most uplifting stories in the Bible have been the ones with this theme. Jesus’ closest disciples failed him and yet returned to him again to accomplish great things in his name. King David was another one who rose above adultery and murder to eventually be know to God as, “a man after My own heart.” [2] What an amazing comeback!

Courageous Prayer – Courageous Life

Prayer is powerful and when there is purity and noble intention behind the prayer, it creates beauty and holiness in partnership with God. When we pray as Jesus did, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we are surrendering to the highest light and excellence of God’s will. We are asking God to taking away any thought or activity that is against His will. If by chance our desires are not aligned to God’s, then that is where courageous living and faith proves itself.

Living courageously requires that we admit our failings and cry out to God for help. [3] It brings us to our knees in humble acknowledgement of our need for a Savior. Prayer and praise makes us mindful of God and the fact that he is the source of all blessing. This frees us from clinging to people or things that are not for His greater good. Most importantly, we can confess our sins and rejoice in knowing will will be restored and forgiven because our debt is paid by Jesus.

A Touch of the Divine

Prayer brings a greater awareness of the Divine Presence and brings our focus to the sacred. As we pray we are recognizing  that God is in this moment and He is sovereign. We are yielding to His truth and heavenly  wisdom. [4] It acknowledges that ‘I’m not God and I don’t have to be’.

“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place we must find.” Wayne Dyer

Reasons To Pray

  • When we pray with love for others, we are blessed. Job prayed for his friends and his life was blessed beyond his wildest dreams (Job 42:10-11).
  • Prayers for wisdom please God and seeking wisdom brings multiple blessings (1Kings 3:5-14, Prov. 2:1-22, Prov. 8:12-21 & James 1:5).
  • How we listen and follow through after we pray, is key to receiving God’s blessings and protection (Prov. 1:33, James 1:25 & 1Peter 3:12).
  • Spending time in prayer and in God’s word, keeps us from anxiety and gives inner peace. (Phil. 4:6-7) It brings us longevity and prosperity (Prov. 3:1-2).
  • Prayer keeps us from temptation and helps us stand against evil (Matt. 6:9-13, Matt. 26:41, Mark 14:38 & Eph. 6:13-18).
  • If we confess our sins to one other and pray righteously for one other it will promote, healing and forgiveness (James 5:13-16).
  • Praying in the Spirit gives hope, joy, power and peace (Rom. 5:3, Rom. 8:26-27 & Jude 1:20-21).
  • Battles are won with prayer, if we don’t give up. Pray and praise without ceasing (Ex. 17:10-13, Ps. 63:4, Rom. 12:12 & Thes. 5:16-18).
  • We act like children of God when we pray for people who have hurt us (Matt. 5:44-45).
  • Prayer is communicating with God. He hears us and will sustain us (Jer. 29:12, Isa. 65:24, Ps. 55:22 & 1John 5:14-15 ).
  • Our homes are blessed by prayer. Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13).
  • When we honor and love God and one another, we create an environment for effective prayer (Isa. 58:6-9, Mark 12:28-33, 1Peter 3:6-8 & 1Peter 4:7-8).
  • Praying together with other believers is empowering (Ecc. 4:9-10 & Matt. 18:19-20).
  • Praying in solitude can bring renewal, clarity, vision and a sense of purpose (Matt. 6:6, Mark 1:32-38).
  • Whatever we ask in prayer, in Jesus name, it will be done. God will move heaven and earth (John 14:12-17, John 15:7).
  • Praying with our sights on heaven reminds us we already belong to heaven. It’s where our citizenship is, (Phil. 3:20). It’s where our inheritance is (1Peter 1:3-5).

“Remember Paul says, ‘Set your minds on things above’ (Col. 3:2) and nothing promotes that kind of heavenly-mindedness quite like a deep-seated sense that your whole life is a journey being lived in that direction”. – Setting Our Sights On Heaven [5]

With our sights on heaven and our hearts full of gratitude, let’s give praise to the One who sacrificed his life to bring us there. As we do good deeds in Jesus’ name, let us build up our bodies, our vehicle to serve others while we are still here on earth.

15 Reasons to Exercise

  1. Increases energy and endurance
  2. Boosts mental health
  3. Increases longevity
  4. Strengthens bones
  5. Increases memory and brain function
  6. Improves posture
  7. Boosts immune system
  8. Gives confidence
  9. Improves joint function
  10. Strengthens the heart
  11. Improves cholesterol levels
  12. Reduces stress
  13. Promotes more restful sleep
  14. Increases oxygen supply to the cells
  15. Improves balance and agility

 

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Linda Eichberg – Twisted Lunge

 

Wishing you all the blessings of God for good health! ~ Linda

 

References:
1] http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-Vatican/detail/articolo/gmg-26831/

2] Acts 13:22, 1 Samuel 13:14

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

4] “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3: 17

5] Setting Our Sights On Heaven: Why It’s Hard And Why It’s Worth It by Paul D. Wolfe http://www.amazon.com/Setting-Our-Sights-Heaven-Worth/dp/1848711433

Find out more about sin, Jesus and his incredible claims…
http://www.gospel.com/topics/sin
http://www.gospel.com/topics/jesus
http://www.gospel.com/topics/gospel/

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. 

 

The Starfish Story and My Source of Life

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The Starfish Story

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young woman picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the young lady, he asked “What are you doing?”

She replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back they’ll die.”

“Young lady,” the man said. “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference.”

After listening politely, the young woman bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. She then smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

The man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea and many were saved.[1]

The Vision and Actions of One or Two People Can Inspire and Save Many. 

You are probably familiar with this story. It has appeared in different forms and been told in several ways. I lived my own real life starfish story when I was in Newport Beach last week visiting family and taking a short vacation. While I was walking along beautiful Crystal Cove, I saw two star fish stranded on the beach. As the tide receded, I realized there was no hope of them reaching the outgoing tide because they were blocked by a large rock. I was aware that if they didn’t reach their source of life, the ocean, they would dry out and die. It was going to be a hot day so I carried them to the water. When I placed them in the water, I understood more deeply what God was speaking to my heart about the ‘rock’, the things that were keeping me from experiencing Christ’s fullness, his ‘living water’. Like the man in the story, I often miss God’s big picture by focusing on the wrong picture. I want to do things of everlasting significance but I sometimes lose sight of Jesus, the navigator, my source of life. Even though I’m not the best Christ follower and I can’t do all the things I wish I could, God mercifully opened my eyes to some of the wonderful things He is doing in my life that I am a part of.

Over the past month or so I have had the privilege of being involved in some notable and praiseworthy events. Our church, Lighthouse Church, put on a banquet for Compassion First.[2] Human sex trafficking, especially the trafficking of young girls, is a problem in many parts of the world. Compassion First provides rescue and restoration for woman and young girls who have been sexually trafficked by caring for them physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. They provide a loving home, legal advocacy, education, physical and psychological care. They now have a hope for a brighter future. It is amazing to be a small part of what they are doing through my church. By being part of a church, the body of Christ, I become a link in a great chain of compassion serving God that is so much bigger than me, so the little I can do becomes more than I could have ever imagined.

Many are being rescued. Please find out more about this very important cause.

Our friends, the Heintz family, put on a fundraiser a couple of weeks ago at their beautiful home for the Lily of the Valley Children’s Village in South Africa.[3] It was a lively and inspirational musical event featuring singers and songwriters: Kevin Fisher, Tim Heintz, Sara Nienietz and Scott Wojahn. They are each uniquely talented and when they joined together at the end of the music set for a final song, they had the audience standing and singing along. Many hands pitched in to make this evening a success  Good fun and delicious food for a great purpose!

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With hearts full of love, Tim & Sharon Heintz talk about the orphans at Lily of the Valley.
Scott Wojahn, Kevin Fisher, Sara Nienietz & Tim Heintz perform.

Having spent more than a year living at the Children’s Village, the Heintz’s know first hand about the amazing work that is being accomplished for orphans there, who have been so severely affected by the AIDS pandemic. Throughout the evening, Tim and Sharon shared several stories about their time at Lily. They remarked that the orphanage was once a place where children went to die of AIDS but they are no longer dying. They are thriving because of the sacrificial love and care they receive. My husband and I share Tim & Sharon’s passion for Lily.

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was a wonderful celebration for me as my loving husband and daughter expressed their extreme appreciation of things I do automatically every day for them without thinking much about it. It gave me a new perspective of myself, motherhood and service. I was refreshed and re-energized.

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The Master Gardener has been doing some spring pruning in me and my life. I’m looking forward to the final results of the good fruit it will produce. I pray God will open the eyes of your heart as He did for me this past month, so you will more fully experience the forgiveness, glory, grace, truth, peace and love found in His Son, Jesus. May He guide your way with His light because you are important, you are needed, you can make a difference.

~ You are loved, Linda

Turn-Your-Eyes-Upon-Jesus-Gratitude

References:
1) The Starfish Story adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
2) Compassion First, web site – http://www.compassionfirst.org/
3) Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lov.org.za/

Bible References:

“You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! I will let you find me,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29: 13-14 (NCV)

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6: 9-10

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.” – 2Corinthians 12: 12-13 (NLT)

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” – 2Corinthians 11: 2-4

Earth Day – Blessing the Earth

Earth Day is April 22; I am reminded to think about how I can make a positive impact on the earth. Last year, to celebrate Earth Day, I bought reusable stainless steel water bottles to use in place of the plastic disposable one’s I had been using. My family also made a monthly commitment to Greenpeace USA. In years past, I have bought the ladies in my bible study fashionable reusable grocery bags and made a pledge to recycle Styrofoam packing peanuts at my local mailing center.

Our Beautiful Earth

Last week I returned from a family visit to Pennsylvania, during cherry blossom season. The trees were exquisite! Driving by the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia was a spectacular site!

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My love for trees inspired me to support the Canopy Project this year. Sponsored by Earth Day, one tree will be planted for every dollar donated. Jaden Smith speaks passionately about this project. Learn more about The Canopy Project.

 

Remembering Earth Day With Gratitude to God

I enjoy taking ‘gratitude hikes’ to the beach. I like to take groups of friends, mothers and daughters. We have fun! It’s a great way to relieve stress and keep fit. Being together on the beach brings out our inner child and grows our appreciation for nature and each other. It draws us closer to God’s magnificence and supports our beautiful State Parks.

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Sitting on top of Point Dume, Zuma Beach with Marianna Riccio, Maria Lauren, Susan Buckner and Linda Eichberg

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Balancing side plank, a joyful expression of health!

I appreciate how the earth sustains and nourishes me and my family with the food it provides. When I eat, I will consider how the food is grown and the people who sacrificed to get it to my table. I am supporting organic and non-GMO food growers.

Since ancient times it has been recorded in The Holy Scriptures that God rules over the earth and we “are like grasshoppers” living on it. Our Father in the heaven, gave us the earth as our dwelling place. It is a perishable gift that we must handle with care. Grasshoppers can be destructive and ravenous. The earth is not ours to abuse. It is fragile like we are. I prayerfully ask God for wisdom for this generation and the next, to save and heal our world.

How does your family protect the earth or reduce their carbon footprint? It can be something simple like not running the water when brushing their teeth or washing the dishes. I’d like to hear your ideas.

Happy Earth Day with blessings, Linda

Reference: The Holy Bible

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One.” – Isaiah 40: 21-24 (NIV)

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Expressing Gratitude

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Expressing Gratitude

As the sun sets on a beautiful day at Crystal Cove, my soul sends up a grateful salutation to our Creator.

“Gratitude is the path to the joy and peace we all desire. Our soul longs to express gratitude.” – Linda Alberici Eichberg

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16 (NLT)

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Grateful LIFE

“Practice gratitude often! GRATITUDE is the gateway to positive emotions.” – Linda Alberici Eichberg

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I always feel good when I see this photo of myself, with two of my sisters, taken at a family reunion. It reminds me of so many things I am grateful for: love of family, the sunrise, the beach, health & music (My brothers & sisters sang together on the beach that morning).

Positive Life

Doctors and scientists have found that our brain grows best when it is positive, additionally, a positive mind leads to better health. Practicing gratitude is a simple way to achieve the good feelings we need to stay positive, healthy and happy. Reflecting on the people and things I am thankful for, always lifts my mood. I sometimes think, “If I would wake up tomorrow with only the things I am thankful for today, what would I have”? When I think that way, my whole day feels abundant and blessed.

Thinking positive brings out the best in a person but life can deliver some surprising blows. You may be reading this and your heart is broken or you are in a situation where life is very painful and you don’t feel you have much or anything to be grateful for. Maybe the resentment or hurt you are carrying is the burning fire that keeps you going. Eventually, habitual negative or un-spiritual thoughts and feelings will take their toll on your health and overall wellness and it can lead you into a downward spiral. Positive emotion and energy leads you into an upward spiral. A study on gratitude found that participants in the “Gratitude Condition” were happier and were inclined to do more exercise. Exercise continues the upward spiral because it also leads to better health and has many physical, mood enhancing and psychological benefits.*

“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding.” – Harvey Mackay

Rewarding Life

When I have moments of sadness or disappointment that distract me from the joy God wants me to have, I am thankful I can turn to my faith. My greatest source of gratitude is Jesus. He is my Helper, Friend, Lord, Savior and Healer. With him, all things are made new. Each day has hope and purpose. I can renew my mind and fill my heart through Christ’s un-surpassing love and power.

If you have hit rock bottom, Jesus is the rock at the bottom. The light of God’s love found in Jesus can conquer the darkness. He abundantly loves and values you. He paid the ultimate price to be with you for eternity. Eternal joy is yours for the asking, if you believe in your heart.

~ Many blessings, Linda Alberici Eichberg

“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

References:
Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well Being in Daily Life – Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 2003, Vol. 84, No. 2, 377–389
Positivity – Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
Exercise and Depression – Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications
Understanding Depression – Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications

*Moments of sadness are a part of life but depression is different. It is more than a passing feeling and has tremendous staying power. If you are deeply depressed or you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a mental health professional.